By Robin Gomes
With the worst water crisis hitting the Philippine capital in a decade, the Archbishop of Manila is urging for prayers for rain.
"We are currently facing a water crisis. Experts reported that we are experiencing a mild El Nino," wrote Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle in a March 12 letter to the faithful of his archdiocese.
El Nino is part of a routine climate pattern that occurs when sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean rise to above-normal levels for an extended period of time. This can cause significant changes in weather around the world.
“Our relief will come from nature,” the cardinal wrote, adding, “we implore the Master of all creation, God, our Father, at whose command the winds and the seas obey, to send us rain.”
“Let us together storm heavens with our supplication, that God’s mercy be upon us and send us the rain we need,” Card. Tagle urged.
The Archbishop of Manila has distributed prayer intentions in English and Tagalog for use in daily prayers and in the Prayer of the Faithful during Sunday Masses.
The English prayer version reads: “We ask the Lord to hasten to send the rain we badly need, especially in Luzon, so that the damage to crops and other livelihood and an impending water shortage may be averted, we pray.”
“We beg the Lord to inspire us in this time of crisis to share in the name of Jesus what we have and to take responsibility for one another and for the environment and resources that you have generously provided us, we pray.”
Over 6 million affected
Some 6.8 million people are feeling the effects of a water shortage in Manila and its surroundings. In several areas, residents can be seen queueing up with containers for water rations.
President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to meet representatives of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System on Tuesday to discuss its response to the water crisis in Manila.
Earlier on March 15, he ordered private utility companies to release water from a dam in the northern part of the country to supply water to the capital for the next 150 days.