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22/11/2013: STATEMENT OF PHILIPPINE CONSUL GENERAL JULIUS D. TORRES ON INTERNATIONAL AID FOR SURVIVORS OF TYPHOON HAIYAN

STATEMENT OF PHILIPPINE CONSUL GENERAL JULIUS D. TORRES
ON INTERNATIONAL AID FOR SURVIVORS OF TYPHOON HAIYAN

(Delivered during the Press Conference at the Office of Governor Neil Abercrombie, 22 November 2013)

The sheer power of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and the devastation it wrought was truly horrific and awesome. But even more awe- inspiring was the international response to the tragedy that befell central Philippines. The outpouring of assistance, expressions of support and prayers from all over the world is one of those rare occasions when the term “common humanity” finds a sterling embodiment.

Governments, private corporations, various non-government organizations, civic associations, kababayans, friends of Filipinos, and even those who can not precisely locate the Philippines on the map pitched in to help alleviate the sufferings of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Here in Hawaii, the effort to help was equally tremendous. Our heartfelt Mahalo goes out to the State Government led by Governor Neil Abercrombie, the City and County of Honolulu represented by Mayor Kirk Caldwell, to Mayors Alan Arakawa, Billy Kenoi, and Bernard Carvalho, Jr. and their constituents, indeed to all the people of this island paradise of Hawaii.

Special thanks to the US Pacific Command whose leaders had the foresight and decisiveness enabling its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief forces to be in ground zero within two (2) days after Haiyan made landfall. Their timely assistance surely saved lives and averted greater suffering.

All of these expressions of solidarity and the material support given by the international community will go a long way in the more difficult struggle still ahead of us – repairing the physical damage wrought by Haiyan and rebuilding the lives of those whose sustenance and livelihood were literally blown away. Even more important are the prayers and other expressions of solidarity with the Filipino people, particularly the victims and their families as these elevate our morale and strengthen our faith that from the devastation, we can rebuild better and stronger lives.

For all of these, to all of you, we say, Maraming Salamat po! (END)