MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo is again seeking help for residents in areas hit by Typhoon Odette, saying that fellow Filipinos should not experience Christmas without food and proper shelter.
Robredo, who went live on her official Facebook page on Monday to provide updates regarding the situation on the ground, said that people who were fortunate enough not to face the typhoon should sacrifice a little bit, and let the victims of the calamity feel loved.
“Tayo pong mga maswerte na hindi sinalanta, ako lang po ‘yong sasabihin ko lang, napaka-tindi ng pangangailangan ngayon ng ating mga kababayan, ito po ‘yong pagkakataon para sa atin na ipakita ang pagka-Pilipino natin, ang pagmamahal natin, ang ating lakas bilang nagkakaisang bayan, ito po ‘yong panahon lalo na po kasi magpa-Pasko,” she said.
“Sa akin po magpa-Pasko ngayon, ‘wag tayong pumayag na may mga kababayan tayong magpa-Pasko na wala man lang makain, na wala man lang matirhan, at nawawalan ng pag-asa. Alam ko lahat po magsasakripisyo dahil hindi po natin kontrolado ‘yong nangyaring sakuna. Pero ‘yong sa akin lang po, iparamdam po natin sa kanila na nasa puso natin sila,” she added.
According to the Vice President, Filipinos have shown in the past that a lot of things are possible if people unite for the better — and the current situation is a good opportunity to show how the country can come together with the goal of helping victims of Typhoon Odette.
“Ito po call to action sa inyo: ipakita natin, marami po sa kanila ang nangangailangan, tayong naging mapalad sana po ibuhos natin ang ating pagmamahal sa kanila, ipakita po natin ‘yong ating pagkakaisa bilang Pilipino, hindi po ito panahon na nagsisingilan tayo,” she explained.
“Pero tayo po ay magkapit-bisg lahat para matulungan sila,” she added.
Robredo, after learning of the devastation experienced by the southern parts of Visayas and northern parts of Mindanao due to Odette,
flew to Bohol last Friday
. From there, she visited other areas in Negros, Cebu, Samar, and Caraga.
Earlier, she said that it appears Surigao del Norte particularly Surigao City and Siargao, along with
Dinagat Islands are the hardest-hit areas.
Robredo meanwhile also addressed victims of Typhoon Odette, promising that they would provide assistance to all areas that were affected. According to her, people must not lose hope, because the country would remain behind them in these challenging times.
“Hinahanap po natin ‘yong lahat ng pwedeng paraan para po makarating sa inyo ‘yong tulong as soon as possible. So bukas, magpapatuloy po ‘yong aming relief operations sa iba pang mga lugar — marami po sa aming nagsasabi na dito din, ang assurance ko po sa inyo, pupuntahan po namin ‘yong lahat ng lugar na nasalanta,” she said.
“Inuulit-ulit ko rin po itong sinasabi na in the worst of times, we show the best of ourselves. Sa mga kababayan po nating nasalanta, ang mensahe ko po sa inyo, nandito po ako, nandito po ang buong OVP at nandito po ang buong sambayanang Pilipino, ‘wag po sana kayong mawawalan ng pag-asa kasi hindi po namin kayo papabayaan,” she added.
Initially, it was thought that the loss of life due to the typhoon was not as high as other past cyclones, but latest reports from the Philippine Red Cross said that
375 individuals died due to Odette.
Starting last Thursday, Odette ravaged through Visayas and Mindanao, hitting the northern portion of Caraga Region before moving to the southern portions of Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, and then Palawan.
At its peak, Odette packed maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center.
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