PASKO NG BATANG PINOY. President Aquino is greeted with ‘Give me five’ by some children who joined the Pasko ng Batang Pinoy 2012 on the Kalayaan Grounds of Malacañang Palace last Dec. 19. The Pasko ng Batang Pinoy Project is part of a comprehensive program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that benefits street children, street families and the itinerant Badjaos. With the President are, among others, Communication Secretary Sonny Coloma and DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman. (Photo by Gil Nartea,  Malacañang PNA Bureau)
PASKO NG BATANG PINOY. President Aquino is greeted with ‘Give me five’ by some children who joined the Pasko ng Batang Pinoy 2012 on the Kalayaan Grounds of Malacañang Palace last Dec. 19. The Pasko ng Batang Pinoy Project is part of a comprehensive program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that benefits street children, street families and the itinerant Badjaos. With the President are, among others, Communication Secretary Sonny Coloma and DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman. (Photo by Gil Nartea, Malacañang PNA Bureau)

MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III has appealed to Filipinos to extend more assistance to Mindanao residents victimized by typhoon “Pablo” that hit the region this month.

“Nanawagan pa rin po ako sa sambayanang Pilipino: Sa panahon ng pighati at pagdurusa, kailangang iparamdam natin sa ating mga kababayan doon ang pagmamalasakit at pagkalinga,” the President said in a speech he delivered at the “Bulong Pulungan” Christmas party held at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City last Dec. 18.

“Sa kabila ng pagkasawi, hinihiling sa ating magbuklod at makiisa sa mga nawalan ng pag-asa, at inaasahan tayong tumulong sa tunay na nangangailangan,” he said.

As the Christmas approaches, he also asked the people to pray for those who are affected, so that they could bounce back and restart their normal lives.

The President said the “Bulong Pulungan” Christmas party is a testament of unity in the country, and the will of the people to assist those who are in need as he thanked media organizations that raise money for the typhoon victims.

Despite the differences in views and positions, the President said, the government respects the press. He also reminded media practitioners that like those in government, the members of the press are also serving their real bosses — the Filipino people.

Despite the magnitude of the disaster, the President said, he sees the recent devastation as a challenge that the country must overcome, noting that he’s more determined to make the people safer against natural calamities.

For instance, he said, the government now has a more enhanced weather monitoring system, timely asset repositioning, and a more improved relief and rescue operations.

In this connection, the President vowed to restore electricity supply in the devastated areas before New Year.

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