PRESIDENT AQUINO ASKS NATION TO PRAY FOR ‘YOLANDA’ VICTIMS

MANILA, Nov. 8 (PNA) – President Benigno Aquino III has asked the nation to offer prayers for the 6,300 people who perished after super typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) ravaged the Visayas Region exactly two years ago on Sunday.

”Today we commemorate how our country and the world came together to face the challenges of the strongest typhoon in history, Typhoon Yolanda,” President Aquino said in a statement read by Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

”We pause in prayer for the loved ones we lost, and pay tribute to the soldiers and civilians who placed themselves in danger to help their fellowmen,” the President added.

President Aquino said “may the memory and lessons of that time inspire us to persevere in building back better, and in living up to the solidarity, resilience, and generosity of Filipinos from all walks of life demonstrated not only then, but in all times of challenge and adversity.”

”God’s grace has enabled our country to ease the sufferings of those who lost everything in Yolanda, and reestablish communities that are once again working to have a safer, and prosperous future,” he added.

The President also thanked all the people, including the countries which extended assistance for the victims of one of the strongest typhoons to make landfall in history.

”This would not have been possible without the world’s embrace of our people and our people’s own heroic generosity and sacrifice,” the President said.

”The Filipino people will never forget the kindness that allowed us to overcome this tragedy and are resolved to be there for nations and peoples similarly affected by tragedy,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lacierda belied observation of the government’s critics that rehabilitation of Yolanda-stricken areas, particularly in Eastern Visayas, is too slow.

”Some observers, like the United Nations, said that we, along with the local government units, acted fast in all Yolanda-affected areas as compared to the other nations,” Lacierda said.

Despite the criticisms, Lacierda said the government will continue to pursue the rehabilitation efforts under the principle of “build back better.”

”We have done a lot in the past two years,” Lacierda said, urging the public to check it on government’s Office Gazette: www.gov.ph. Jelly F. Musico/PNA