De Lima condoles with families of typhoon victims, lauds community Bayanihan in quick response efforts

De Lima condoles with families of typhoon victims, lauds community Bayanihan in quick response efforts

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima extended her sympathies to families who were severely affected by Typhoon “Odette” (Rai), which recently brought destruction in central and southern provinces.

De Lima, social justice and human rights champion, likewise lauded the community “Bayanihan” in different parts of the country for their joint efforts in ensuring that immediate assistance is provided to families affected by the typhoon.

“Nakikiramay po ako sa mga kababayan nating lubos na naapektuhan ng Bagyong ‘Odette’ – sa mga napilitang lumikas sa kanilang lugar, sa mga pamilyang nawasak ang tahanan, nawalan ng kabuhayan, at lalong lalo na sa mga naulila ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay,” she said.

“Dasal ko po ang inyong katatagan sa gitna ng napakalaking pagsubok na sumabay pa sa mga hamon dulot ng pandemya,” she added.

The typhoon made landfall at least nine times from December 16 to 17, reportedly triggering forced evacuations and leaving swaths of destruction in different parts of the country. It also affected power lines, causing blackouts in several areas.

According to police data recorded as of Dec. 20, the death toll in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Odette has risen to 208. Another 52 people are still missing.

Amid the devastating effects of the typhoon, several organizations, groups and government institutions are leading donation drives and relief efforts to respond to the needs of affected communities.

These include, among others, the Office of the Vice President (OVP), Caritas Manila, Ateneo de Manila University, Ayala Foundation, Bayan Panay, and #LabanLeila2022 volunteer’s network.

“Nagpapasalamat at saludo po tayo sa mga organisasyon at grupo na hindi nagdalawang isip tumulong sa panahon ng kalamidad. Kabilang na dito ang patuloy na bayanihan at pagbubukas palad na ipinapamalas ng mga community pantries, community kitchens at iba pang mga organisasyon. Sa kabila ng kanya-kanya nating hirap at pagsubok na pinagdadaanan, napatunayan natin na likas sa ating mga Pilipino ang tumulong at magmalasakit sa kapwa,” she said.

“Patuloy po nating ipagdasal ang kaligtasan at kalusugan ng mga nasa evacuation centers, katatagan ng mga naulilang residente at mga kababayan nating haharapin ang hamon na maibalik ang kabuhayan at bumangon mula sa trahedya,” she added.

De Lima, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said she hopes that the recent events would prompt her colleagues to help push for the swift passage of her proposed “Calamity Leave” bill, which seeks to allow public and private workers to take care of their families and properties when disasters happen.

“I hope that my colleagues in the Senate can help for the passage of my proposed Senate Bill No. 1123, which seeks to provide a five-day special emergency leave for all workers in the public and private sector directly affected by natural disasters,” she said.

Under the proposed measure, the five-day special emergency leave may be availed by employees upon declaration of a state of calamity by the local government or the President of the Philippines. (ai/mtvn)

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