‘Yolanda is a story of faith and hope that characterizes our people’
Malacañang will always be guided by the lessons from Supertyphoon “Yolanda’s” deadly onslaught as it pursues efforts to help the thousands of people affected by its wrath, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Wednesday.
“As we commemorate the deadliest typhoon that hit the Philippines on record and offer prayers to those who lost their lives, we also keep in mind the lessons learned brought by such great tragedy,” Roque said in a statement.
Stories of hope
The Philippines commemorated the fourth anniversary of Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), which struck the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013, killing 6,500 people and leaving thousands of others missing and hundreds of thousands homeless.
Roque said the damage and destruction the typhoon wrought brought stories of hope and lessons in government.
“Yolanda is a story of faith and hope that characterizes our people as it is an account of [courage and compassion] that we must demand from our leaders,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, he said, has been implementing rehabilitation and reconstruction in the communities ravaged by Yolanda.
It has also rehabilitated seaports, airports and classrooms, and helped build homes for displaced residents, he said.
Roque called on Filipinos to unite behind government efforts to help the ravaged communities to recover.
Malacañang also declared Nov. 8 a nonworking day in Tacloban City, Leyte province, to allow residents to remember those who perished and those who survived and to highlight the people’s resilience.
Tacloban was the hardest-hit city as Yolanda barreled through the Visayas.
Pray for the victims
In a homily during Mass at San Joaquin Parish on Nov. 2, All Souls’ Day, Palo Archbishop John Du appealed to the faithful to continue praying for the victims of Yolanda, as they were not really purified because they “were not prepared to die.”
Du stressed the importance of praying for the dead, and of preparing for death.
In a post on the news website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Du also reminded the faithful to pray for their death, as they did not know what the future held. —With a report from Julie M. Aurelio
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