President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will work harder to ensure that the Philippines is still “safe, adaptive, and resilient,” Malacañang said as the country commemorates the sixth anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda that wreaked havoc in Eastern Visayas.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo gave the assurance as he acknowledged that the super typhoon had caused massive deaths and destruction of infrastructure and livelihood in the central Philippines.
“Today, November 8, the Office of the President joins the entire nation in remembering the 6th anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan),” Panelo said in a statement.
“The Office of the President recognizes that natural hazards have become the new normal in the 21st century, and therefore, we must continue to be relentless in creating safe, adaptive and resilient communities. It is our collective responsibility,” he added.
One of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded in the country, Yolanda unleashed its wrath in Eastern Visayas on November 8, 2013.
Around 6,300 people died while over 4.4 million people were rendered homeless after Yolanda hit the central Philippines.
Panelo said the Palace honors those who were on the front lines, including government agencies, several organizations, and volunteers who helped the country “during one of the most difficult times our country faced.”
“We laud the exemplary resilience of our own people, which in the face of great adversity, have remained steadfast and have moved forward,” Panelo said.
Panelo said the devastation in Eastern Visayas caused by Yolanda has taught the government a “hard lesson in public service.’
He guaranteed that the President and his administration would continue focusing on a platform of “tapang at malasakit”, particularly when it responds to the needs of typhoon victims.
“Yolanda has likewise taught us, especially those in the bureaucracy, a hard lesson in public service. Tapang and malasakit (Courage and compassion) became buzzwords from a people weary of government apathy.”
From 2013 to 2017 alone, some PHP67.1 billion were released for the rehabilitation works in the hardest-hit areas in Eastern Visayas, the Department of Budget and Management earlier said.
The National Housing Authority is also targeting the completion of at least 62,668 housing projects between 2019 and 2020. (PNA)