MCGI and UNTV Setup Relief Camp for Typhoon Yolanda Survivors in Tacloban

November 22, 2013 (Manila, Philippines) — Members Church of God International (MCGI), in partnership with UNTV, set up “Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) and UNTV Camp” to provide ready-to-eat food and relief packs for Typhoon Yolanda survivors in Tacloban City, Leyte.

About 1,000 residents were given food such as bread and rice porridge on November 15, 2013, during the camp’s first day of operations. MCGI and Public Service Channel UNTV will continue handing out food, relief packages and medicine to people devastated by the typhoon.

MCGI partners with UNTV to give free food and medicines to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City, Philippines.
A UNTV correspondent interviews an MCGI representative as MCGI members hand out food and medicines to Typhoon Haiyan survivors in Tacloban City, Philippines. (Photo by Melvin Camasis, Photoville International)

MCGI Leaders Bro. Eliseo Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon also sent six generator sets including fuel to the region to power the camp’s operations.

News reports cited government officials that it could take two months to fully restore electricity in Tacloban as 90 percent of its power poles are down. (Links to article)


MCGI Measures

Before the storm hit, Bro. Daniel, following instructions from Bro. Eli, instructed Church Workers in the Visayas Region to force evacuate members from their homes and bring them to MCGI Coordinating Centers.

Bro. Daniel Razon looks at the playback of his advice to members of the Church of God International in Visayas to force evacuate before Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippine Island in November of 2013.
In one of MCGI’s Thanksgiving service, Bro. Daniel Razon looking at the playback of his advice to brethren in Visayas to force evacuate before Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013. (Photo by Rovic Balunsay, Photoville International)

The recently-acquired rental space for the Tacloban Chapter is on the third floor of its building. During the storm surge, the evacuated Church members watched as the floodwater rose in seconds up to the floor below them.

Trained members in nearby areas belonging to the organization’s Emergency Response Teams had also readied their vehicles and equipment for rescue missions and first-aid applications.

UNTV Initiative

Good Morning Kuya! (GMK) hosts initiated a ‘first-pay-first-sell’ effort to help raise funds for their fellows in Visayas. Bro. Daniel, also known as Kuya Daniel, is the main host of the show

“This is not an auction. This is really a sale to whoever will pay first and say ‘Mine,’” said Atty. Regie Tongol.

Atty. Tongol added that there have also been pledges from people outside the country to help the calamity-stricken families. “As of now Kuya, we have 800 Australian dollars as pledge from Australia, which we will add to the fund.”

The GMK hosts said the initiative is a surprise gift to UNTV CEO Daniel Razon, who will celebrate his 30th year in public service on November 28, 2013.

“We avoid placing account numbers [on our channel] as we prefer exerting our own efforts, like this one made by our hosts,” said the veteran broadcaster.

For his part, Bro. Daniel will also donate his belongings, including shirts he wore in the upcoming Isang Araw (One Day) film. Besides funding the various charitable works of UNTV — including a daily medical mission and feeding program — proceeds of the movie will also fund the needs of those affected in Visayas. 

(Words by Art Cruz)

Community Prayer on Philippine TV Launched

Children sit by the entrance of the Hagnaya Elementary School in San Remegio, Cebu after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastates their town.
Filipino children sit by the entrance of the Hagnaya Elementary School in San Remegio, Cebu looking at devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). (Photo by Romaldo Mico Solon, Photoville International)

Manila, Philippines — In a country devastated by a 7.2 magnitude quake and Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), prayers came to be seen as a timely refuge as Members Church of God International (MCGI) introduced a community prayer service through UNTV-37. 

Dubbed as UNTV Community Prayer, the latest project is aimed at bringing the prayerful lifestyle using mass media and technology. The service was piloted on November 9, at 12 noon.

With five time slots a day, people can tune in to UNTV-37 to pray. The scheduled community prayer will be timed during the ceremonial sign on of the station at 4 a.m. in Filipino. Then, this will be followed by the 12 p.m, and 8:10 p.m. schedules, which are also offered in Filipino. The 10 p.m. and 12 m.n. services, on the other hand, are done in English.

MCGI Overall Servants Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano and Bro. Daniel S. Razon said that people can also join the UNTV Community Prayer via and or tune in to Radyo La Verdad 1350 on the AM band. For live participation, people may visit at more than 1,000 MCGI satellite centers in the country.

Vice Presiding Minister to MCGI Bro. Daniel Razon announced the Community Prayer program on UNTV in a Thanksgiving service to members.
MCGI Vice Presiding Minister and UNTV CEO Bro. Daniel Razon announced the Community Prayer program on UNTV in a Thanksgiving service to members. (Photo by Rovic Balunsay, Photoville International)

The Community Prayer is in line with the anniversary theme of Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path): “Building a Prayerful Nation Through Broadcast Evangelization”. The longest-running religious program in the country celebrated its 33rd year of broadcast last October.

A day before Typhoon Haiyan began roughing seas and coastal areas in the country’s Eastern Visayas region, Bro. Daniel called upon members to pray and prepare. The MCGI Vice-Presiding Minister spoke via satellite on the 24/7 Community Prayer broadcast of the Church. 

While MCGI Emergency Response Teams have been alerted and Church Workers advised to gather brethren in Coordinating Centers, Bro. Daniel reminded members of the strong tower that is the name of the Lord recorded in Proverbs 18:10. “God is merciful,” he added.

In 2011, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel launched the 24/7 Community Prayer online portal with an hourly prayer and songs of praise playing in between.

People can now tune in to the MCGI-hosted UNTV Community Prayer, five times a day to pray. (Photo by Prince Medina Marquez, Photoville International)
A video about the UNTV Community Prayer plays at the ADD Convention Center and at remote points across the globe during an MCGI Thanksgiving service.

The Importance of Prayer

Ang Dating Daan or The Old Path host Bro. Eli Soriano urged members to “pray for all the nations of the earth,” citing 1 Timothy 2:1-3 in a recent Thanksgiving service.

In his blog, Bro. Eli stresses the importance of prayer by laying down logical and biblical reasons why people need to pray. “The impossibility of a human doing things greater than his entire being necessitates the need to pray!”

To join the UNTV Community Prayer via mobile device, download the UNTV App available on Google Play and the iTunes store for free. 

(Words by Rigor Arellano)