President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Wednesday thanked the international community and relief organizations from around the world for their help during the calamity from Typhoon Yolanda.
“On behalf of the Filipino people, I thank the governments and peoples of so many nations– 28 as of last count– as well as the donor organizations, who have pledged or already provided assistance, whether technical, financial, or in kind, for the relief and rebuilding efforts that we are undertaking in Leyte, Samar, and other provinces devastated by Typhoon Yolanda,” the President said in a message.
The countries sending or pledging aid are Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Vietnam.
“The thought that the community of nations stands in solidarity with our nation has also greatly eased our burdens,” he said.
Aquino said that while there are many reasons to grieve, the Filipino people have seen many reasons to be grateful as well.
“The well of strength and compassion that characterizes us as a nation has time and again proven to be bottomless. Solidarity born of faith and prayer, combined with a steadfast resolve, is showing the world that nothing can make the Filipino spirit yield,” he said
The President also thanked local donors and volunteers helping in the repacking of relief goods.
“The companies who have offered their services for free or at a great discount, the groups and institutions who have mobilized their members for relief drives, individuals who have volunteered time, knowledge, and resources: You have my deepest thanks,” Aquino added.
Malacanang assured the international community that the assistance they have sent to the Philippines will be used to rebuild the lives of those affected.
Speaking to reporters, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said the government is working hard with its international humanitarian partners to bring emergency assistance to the typhoon victims.
Almendras said the President had directed concerned government agencies to come out with a mechanism that coordinates humanitarian action with the international community to speed up relief and rehabilitation efforts for the disaster victims.
“This will come out to be one of the largest logistic and relief operation that the Philippine government has ever done in history and the President wanted to make sure that we have aligned everything,” he said
“We need to coordinate how we are going to work with the international community. The past two or three days, quite a number of head of states have been calling the President, have talked to him, offering the aid that they want to do and asking how and in what best way they can help,” Almendras said.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE