On November 30, 2006, typhoon Reming (Internation Code: Durian) ravaged the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon in the Bicol Region of Luzon, Philippines. The worst affected parts were the towns in the slopes of the Mayon Volcano. Almost 3 million persons were affected with 200,000 homes completely destroyed and 300,000 partially damaged. There were a thousand confirmed dead and another thousand missing.
The Order of Malta Philippines put together a disaster response mission to bring much needed relief goods to the suffering victims of the typhoon. The Knights and Dames, true to their calling to help the poor and the sick gave generously to the mission fund. The AmeriCares Foundation, the partner of the Order of Malta in their efforts to help the needy, responded with a cash grant of $11,500.
The Order of Malta Philippines prepared pots and pans, blankets, materials for tents and temporary shelter, sleeping mats, medicines, and basic food supply and water for distribution to the places that were not being reached by the other relief organizations. The relief goods serviced 500 families, including 200 families of the tribal aetas in the slopes of Mayon Volcano.
The team was headed by Dr. Jaime Lapuz, who together with Cecilia Piñones and Dr. Perla Alban, Project Director of HIV and AIDS Advocacy Program, brought the relief goods to Bicol. The host in Naga was the Mother Seton Hospital, with Sr. Carmen Pascual, Superior, coordinating with the different recipient towns. The coordinator with the tribal towns was Ms. Lee Arroyo, Director of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Region IV.