Palace offices cancel Christmas parties due to ‘Pablo,’ call for ‘subdued’ celebrations

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MANILA, Philippines—With hundreds of families mourning their dead and searching for their missing kin in the aftermath of typhoon “Pablo,” some Malacañang offices are scrapping their Christmas parties and are appealing for “subdued celebrations” across the country.

As figures of the dead and missing continued to mount, the Office of the President, the Presidential Communications Operations Office and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office have called off holiday parties, Secretary Edwin Lacierda said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has also canceled its party, he said.

“How does one celebrate when you know that there is misery when people are missing? How can one celebrate and fully enjoy knowing that there are fellow brethren who have family members that cannot be found, cannot be accounted for?’’ the presidential spokesman said.

Taking cue from President

Lacierda said these offices were taking their cue from President Aquino who wondered amid the gloom: “How does one celebrate?”

“This is not an order; we’re taking our cue from the President. I think it’s important for everyone to know that the national government is in solidarity with the typhoon victims,” he said in a briefing.

The President has been keeping tabs on updates from areas in Mindanao, Visayas and Palawan battered by the supertyphoon last Tuesday, missing Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas Saturday night (Sunday in Manila).

From Day One, in his speaking engagements, Aquino has consistently appealed for help to the hundreds of families displaced by the storm.

If at all, celebrations by the rest of Christian Filipinos, especially the thousands of overseas workers coming home for the holidays, should be subdued, Lacierda said.

“I think the celebration should be more subdued. We can’t escape the fact there are those coming home to celebrate Christmas here. Secondly, we can’t escape the get-togethers during Christmas and New Year. So the idea here is to celebrate Christmas simply,” he said.

Shelling out donations

On top of calling off parties, some Cabinet officials are also heeding the President’s to shell out donations for the victims from their own pocket.

“In fact, our office and the office of Secretary Ricky Carandang have already made plans of donating to the typhoon victims. So I’m sure we are not going to be found wanting in sharing to our less fortunate brethren some measure of assistance,” Lacierda said.

“Instead of pouring our resources to a party, we’d like to use those resources for our assistance to the typhoon victims,” he added.

While government has ample supply of relief goods, Malacañang aired an appeal to the private sector to pour more aid for the typhoon victims.

“Certainly we welcome efforts from the private sector, the NGOs to provide any relief in whatever form,” Lacierda said. “Certainly we would like to do it as how they did—the multiplication of loaves and fishes.”

Lacierda singled out Manny V. Pangilinan and TV5 for its telethon that raised P100 million for the typhoon victims, and urged support for ABS-CBN’s Sagip Kapamilya and GMA’s Kapuso Foundation.

Call on all Filipinos

“We call on all Filipinos to continue being of service to our countrymen most in need, knowing fully well that together, we will persist and we shall overcome these difficult times,” he said.

As the public grappled with the aftermath of the typhoon, Lacierda said the government has begun looking into reports blaming mining and illegal logging for the devastation.

“Well, we’ve seen anecdotal videos of logs and so DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is starting an investigation. As to culpability, one thing is for certain: if there’s any culpability [found against anyone], we will pursue that. We will prosecute. That’s the purpose [of] the investigation,” he said.

Lacierda said local government officials should also ensure the use of the geohazard maps in implementing evacuation measures.

“Those geohazard maps were already present (since) last year and so I think Secretary Mar Roxas is going to be strict in implementing the danger zone areas,” he said. “The local government officials should be mindful of the geohazard areas within their municipalities, within their province, within the region.”

The Department of Transportation and Communications deployed more vessels  for search-and-rescue operations for survivors, Lacierda said.

“The earlier the better, because the longer it takes, the more the chances of survival grow dim,” he said of the search-and-rescue operations.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has begun building bunkhouses in Banganga, Boston and Cateel in Davao Oriental, and New Bataan, Compostela, Lacierda said.

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  • magiting78

    dapat lang po…at panawagan n din s mga legislator baka pwde yung mga pork barel nyo wag nyo n bawasan at ibigay s mga nasalanta ng bagyo…

    • leomar101

       Hahaha, puputi  ang uwak Dre, hindi yan mangyari. ang mga buwayang iyan ay walang kabusugan. Umapila ka na lang sa mga kapatid ni Budoy dahil generous sila mag donate. Kagaya na lang noong nagdonate sila  in millions doon sa partylist na Akbayan.

      • magiting78

        Oo nga dre…ewan ko kung pangarap to o bangungot hehehe….kailan kaya mag kakabagyo pero selective yung mga pulitiko lng na ito ang tatangayin papunta paciko…

      • leomar101

         Hindi matitinag ang mga palasyo at villa nila gawa mula sa kanilang pork. Itanong mo kay  nil tupak  kung gaano katibay ang kanyang villa sa xavierville.

      • magiting78

        Heheheh gnun ba cge lindol at sunog n lng pero bahay lng nila…Walng pagbabago pinas..pulitiko..same family same name may bago man balimbing…

  • malek_abdul

    Hindi nga naman magandang tingnan na ang mga opisyal ng gobyerno at iba pang sangay ng pamaalaan ay nagdidiwang samantalang marami sa ating kababayan ang naghihirap dahil sa pinsala ng bagyog Pablo. Sana lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno ay sensitive enough to see and feel the hardships of those affected by the recent calamity. It would be much better if they can dole out some of their pork barrels and bonuses to the affected people in Mindanao.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FKE56ZWNI2XKEVVLZQGRWG7WBI BURADOR—Phil. Voice

    This SHOWS the RESPONSIBLE ACT of the government——
    It SHOWS haw DESCENT and CIVILIZE Aquino government IS—-
    MABUHAY ang DECISION ng Malacanang—

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XTXAV2X3EGKHW7N4L35WY2S6HM JudgeJuanDeLaCruz

    Good!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NKMLL6HD6WUINN5XQWNKKQDFEA Edwin Edwin

    A very sound decision from the Administration!

  • wawa2172

    Much that we want to help the department of a company where I am working right now will push thru with our Christmas party as a thanksgiving that we survive the wrath of Sendong last year where we lost a lot of friends and for some family members. We will commemorate the disaster with prayers and the blessings that we now have despite worst typhoon that hit Iligan City. We will also pass the hat for donation for the victim of Pablo. We know their sufferings and we experience the heartache and pain it brought to our community. But we will not sulk in one corner, we will still celebrate the Christmas with simplicity, we will still partake and share foods but in our mind and prayers those people that needed help especially the people of Davao Oriental. We loss a young co-worker then but her memory will strengthen us especially those who survive but he will be out inspiration to move on and celebrate the season of joy.

  • JanofVA

    Good decision…but we must not also forget the true meaning of Christmas..it’s not the bright lights, the parties and the gifts…but the birth of Jesus Christ…

  • joerizal

    Puwede namang mag-celebrate ng Xmas party sa trabaho kahit wala masyadong gastos basta magkaroon lang ng pagkakataon ang mga tao na magkasama-sama ng hindi trabaho ang pinag-uusapan. Ipagdasal niyo ang mga nasalanta at namatay pero sana ‘wag niyong kalimutan ang mga buhay.

  • $20926843

    At long last and thank Heavens,this inconsequential and inutile president was stricken by his conscience!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HUM77DUBLEOWKV73AYZBIJV3LQ Khaye

      hahaha totoo nga naman show grace to haters and they still gonna hate…nakakaawa

  • Guest

    A lot of good this will do…has the prez ever heard the expression “life is for the living”?…

    No idea why he chooses to be responsible for nature but rather than do a flyover taking pictures perhaps he should retrieve some of the survivors and bring them back to the palace for a decent meal.

    As for  Pacquiao, considering he made 1.2 billion in Vegas, he should be FINED P100 million for laying down on the job…these funds should be used to give an unforgettable party in the affected areas….how about it Manny?

     

  • mini 311

    5k nalang nga nanghihinayang pa mga congressman magbigay. Kung gusto talaga nila makatulong un 1 buwan na sahod nila ibigay nila sa nasalanta. Kahit naman di sila mag celebrate ng X’mas party un bonus naman nila at incentives masaya na sila. Kahit naman siguro sinong opisyal kahit walang xmas party basta malaki macocorrupt nakangiti parin ngayon :P

  • buttones

    how sweet….

    • ARIKUTIK

      Yeah, bitter sweet. It will taste like honey dew if some loggers are pictured behind bars. A pronouncement of subdued celebration is ‘consuelo de bobo’, what happens behind curtain is everybodies fantasy. SHOWBIZZ achievement ! yeheyyyyyyyy ………

      • buttones

        Not so much the loggers, but the big shots who gave them chainsaws and organized the logistics to get the stuff to market…who are these mysterious folk? It is not so much the logger, loggers generally don’t have a brain cell between them, it’s ‘Mr Big’ – who he I wonder? On the celebration during this festive time by government employees, well they will go on, not that visible, but they will.. As regards the President, who only gets two days off a year anyway, I say chill out Simone …with 363 working days ahead in 2013, he needs to charge his batteries…..

  • $18209031

    Ang daming dollares ang gobyerno, bakit naman kayo magtitipid ?  Dapat ibalabas ang pera para sa nalansa ng bagyo. 

    • omangat

      Ikaw ang malansa! Maligo ka muna amoy miswa ka pa! ahaha

  • kahol aso

    good decision mr. President!… damay damay tayo sa hirap dapat diba?

  • Albert Einstien

    PNOY should give his 600 million presidential fork, yung pagcor& pcso  presidentia lsocial  fund at dswd cct….ilang bilyones yan..sa DAMI nyan pwedeng ipatayo ulit lahat ng mga tirahan nila…at .bakit nyo po HINAHAYAAN MAGUTOM at mag-away away pa yun mga nasalanta para lang isang kainan relief goods..karamihan pa jan donation local at int’l….ANO pa po  ba ginagawa pa nyo ipamigay na lahat yan…… 

  • green

    PNOY you can sell your PORSCHE and give the money to the poor homeless Filipinos you serve. 

    • omangat

      ay huli sa balita???

  • blainz

    A very good example. I hope the House, the Senate, and other government agencies follow suit.

  • boybakal

    Palace offices cancel Christmas parties due to ‘Pablo,’ CALL FOR SUBDUED celebrations…

    You are contributing more to the misery of tragedy by this subdued celebrations
    Lighten UP the Spirits of the People….Just like Christmas Lights.
    Enough of this tragedy….Just get up and Help.
    .
    Liven up their Spirits, Encourage them and Celebrate their Christmas, the way they celebrate.
    BE JOYFUL AND HAPPY….that’s the spirit of Christmas.

    • omangat

      As usual basta makakontra lang si boybakla banat kaagad nang hindi nag iisip muna.

  • soccerg0d

    BUMABAWI! naalala nyo paano nabuko ang pakikipagparty ng Presidente habang madaming patay last year sa bagyo sa Cagayan De Oro dahil sa tweet ni Valerie Concepcion???? WAHAHAHAHAHAHA 

  • disqusted0fu

    just another one of those image building moves… who cares about how you celebrate? that has nothing to do with the victims! if they are really sincere in mourning and helping, they should just do so and stop yapping about it. this will not help the victims at all.

  • Your_King

    First of all the reason that Aquino probably missed the Pacquiao fight was because it was too early and he was still sleeping. So please don’t try to make it look like he missed the fight because he was too busy. Aquino is calling others to help because he obviously doesn’t feel like it. His actions are for the sake of his popularity and his public image and not for the sake of directly helping these victims. He’ll talk big now as he usually does but a short later forget the victims all the same as he usually does.

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