Latest Stories

Subdued Christmas parties for gov’t agencies

By ,

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–There’s bound to be less holiday cheer at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Tourism (DOT), as the two government offices have decided to tone down and scrap their yuletide parties, but the Christmas spirit apparently remains alive as employees of the two agencies donated part of their cash gift and celebration funds to victims displaced by Typhoon “Pablo” in Mindanao.

Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that the election body was pushing through with a more subdued Christmas party this year, with half of its budget for traditional merrymaking going instead to the families affected by the killer typhoon.

“We lowered our budget for the Christmas party for our employees and canceled the party for the press,” Brillantes told reporters in an interview Friday.

He added that the Comelec was also slashing P100 from the P1,000 cash gift allotted to each employee as added donation to the victims of the typhoon. “So that should be half a million (pesos),” Brillantes said.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that donations will be in cash and in kind.

In its Twitter account, the DOT announced that, like some government agencies, it was also canceling its Christmas party in the wake of the devastation wrought by the typhoon.

“In light of the recent events and in solidarity with the rest of the nation, the DOT has decided to cancel its Christmas party,” the agency tweeted. “As we celebrate the Season, let us remember the values of charity and generosity by sharing our prayers and blessings with the victims of Pablo,” the DOT added.

Malacañang had earlier announced that it was canceling its Christmas parties even as it appealed for “subdued celebrations” across the country. The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police have also canceled their traditional holiday celebrations.

In toning down its Christmas party this year, Brillantes said the decision was not meant to copy Malacañang’s move. “We are inspired by what we see. It’s a waste to celebrate when there are people suffering,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government yesterday said it was providing C$1.75 million (about P73 million) additional assistance to victims of typhoon Pablo.

The Canadian embassy in Manila said the amount was in addition to Ottawa’s initial contribution of P10 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support the Philippine Red Cross in helping approximately 50,000 people affected by the typhoon.

“Canada is responding to the increasing needs of the people of the Philippines as they face the alarming devastation caused by the typhoon. We are helping families survive by providing critical humanitarian assistance,” the Canadian embassy in Manila quoted Minister of International Cooperation Julian Fantino as saying.

Canada’s assistance, through the Canadian International Development Agency, will support three organizations for urgently needed food, safe drinking water, emergency shelter, and other assistance to over 480,000 affected people in the worst-hit areas.

These organizations are the United Nations World Food Program, which will receive $700,000 to provide access to emergency food assistance; the United Nations Children Fund, which will be granted $350,000 for emergency water, sanitation and hygiene assistance, and the International Organization for Migration, which will be given $700,000 to provide emergency shelters and camp support, including coordination and management, for people displaced as a result of the typhoon.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that Filipinos around the world have responded to the Manila government’s appeal for help to typhoon-affected victims.

The United Filipino Organization in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, raised $730.88 during a fund drive conducted in markets and shopping centers, the Philippine consulate said, adding that the amount was sent to the Philippine Red Cross.

In Guam, the Philippine consulate said the Cristeta Villacorta Alegria Foundation turned over a $2,000 donation to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Manila for its relief and rehabilitation drive.

The Philippine Community Council (PCC) in New South Wales meanwhile handed over to the Mt. Apo Lions Club of Davao a $5,000 (about P212,000) donation that PCC director Angie Jenkins and volunteers of the Lions Club said will be used for relief goods for around 700 families or 3,000 individuals in Compostela Valley.

In Pretoria, South Africa, drop-boxes have been set up for typhoon victims during a Christmas party hosted by the Philippine embassy for Filipino communities there and from neighboring Botswana and Lesotho.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Nation , News , Paskong pinoy

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem
  • Tanchanco, former NFA head; 83
  • Pope seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of the Earth’
  • Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  • Positive in UAE, returning Filipino nurse tests negative
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace