MANILA — President Benigno Aquino III will ask Pope Francis, once he visits the country in January 2015, to pray for the safety of the Philippines especially as disasters continue to pummel the country.
During the 28th annual Bulong Pulungan Christmas Party at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City Friday, where the Aquino was the guest speaker, the President noted that the country is visited by so many typhoons.
”They come here at very unseasonal moments and they’re very strong. We also have the earthquakes and the volcanoes and parang our ability to stop the cycle of destruction and reconstruction,” he said.
Because disasters continue to get stronger after another, the President stressed that the government bids to improve reconstruction efforts.
“The goal really is to, when we reconstruct, it’s better. It withstands the glowing intensity of the effects of global climate change better, and our people are spared the ravages of the increasing challenges,” he said.
And as the government and most parts of the Visayas prepare for Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit), which is projected to make a landfall in Samar Saturday evening, the President urged members of the media to report accurately so as to prevent people from panicking.
This after a major daily published a report saying Typhoon Ruby is as strong as Typhoon Yolanda, which destroyed Eastern Visayas in November 2013.
After the newspaper came out with the story, Aquino said he discussed initial reports about the typhoon and was informed that it is expected to pack strength of about 140 kilometers per hour (kph) when it makes a landfall, weaker compared to the about 300 kph registered by Yolanda.
“I was concerned with such a statement, and I had to ask (Department of Science and Technology (DOST))Secretary (Mario) Montejo to confirm this information; and up until yesterday at the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council)
BRIEFING, THERE WAS NO INDICATION OR OFFICIAL ANALYSIS PREDICTING THAT RUBY WOULD BE YOLANDA-LIKE IN STRENGTH. AT BEST, IF RUBY STRUCK, ITS STRENGTH WOULD BE MORE COMPARABLE TO PABLO,” HE SAID.
THE PRESIDENT, THUS, CALLED ON THE PUBLIC AND THE MEDIA TO BE RESPONSIBLE IN GIVING OUR INFORMATION ESPECIALLY ABOUT DISASTERS.
”YESTERDAY’S NDRRMC BRIEFING REMINDED EVERYONE, FROM THOSE OF US IN GOVERNMENT, TO OUR PARTNERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, AND EVEN OUR FRIENDS IN MEDIA, THAT WE MUST DO OUR UTMOST, LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE, IMPROVE WHERE WE CAN, AND MATCH WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO WELL IN THE PAST,” HE SAID.
“TODAY, IT IS MY HOPE THAT FROM YOUR PENS WILL COME THE RESPONSIBLE, SOBER WRITING THAT WILL HELP FOSTER THE CONFIDENCE WE NEED AS WE WEATHER THIS CHALLENGE AGAIN AS A PEOPLE,” HE ADDED.