MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has also joined other government agencies in cancelling its traditional Christmas parties to show their support and sympathy for the victims of typhoon “Pablo,” the worst storm to hit the country this year.
“In solidarity with the victims of typhoon Pablo, DFA cancelled its traditional Christmas party, will donate funds to Foundations helping them,” DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said in his official twitter account Friday, the same day that the party was supposed to be held.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Department of National Defense (DND), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) had earlier cancelled their Christmas parties to concentrate on the relief efforts for the victims in the southern part of the country.
President Benigno Aquino III had earlier ordered all government agencies to have subdued celebrations of the holidays in the light of the devastation, particularly in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.
Latest reports noted that the death toll from the typhoon, which battered Visayas and Mindanao more than a week ago, had risen to 906, while 900 others remained missing.
The Philippine government also noted that damage in infrastructure, agriculture, and properties was estimated at P15 billion, and that it had affected at least 5 million people.