In the wake of Typhoons Pedring and Quiel, the Philippines is left with damages estimated to cost billions of pesos. Yet despite this, stories such as those found in this week’s Good News give us reason to remain optimistic. Instead of being incapacitated by these typhoons, our government is working quickly to ensure that the needs of affected Filipinos are met and to ensure that the Philippines will be better prepared to face disasters in the future.

From President Aquino’s coordination meeting with members of the Regional Development Council 3, which saw different agencies of the government recommending initiatives to mitigate the damage from the typhoons, to individual agency efforts, such as those from the DSWD, DA, DOLE, and DTI, among others – all these show us that everything that can be done to help those of our countrymen affected by the typhoons is being done.

And these initiatives address different aspects of our countrymen’s lives: from problems they may face in their employment and education, to ensuring that they remain eligible for our Conditional Cash Transfer Program and other such programs while they are recovering from the typhoon’s effects. The convergence of agency efforts is allowing us to more quickly help those of our countrymen in need.

Efforts are also being undertaken to ensure that the Philippines is more prepared to face such disasters in the future. PAGASA’s additional automatic weather stations will be able to help in monitoring the weather, even as the improvement of infrastructure and the siltation of rivers like the Pampanga River will help ensure that flooding will not reach such disastrous proportions.

As the efforts of the public sector show a true and concerted effort to alleviate the effects of these disasters, recent events in the business sector and global community show us too that our administration’s efforts to better the condition of the Philippines have been successful. Despite these disasters, we have been given a strong vote of confidence from Japan-based tire manufacturer Yokohama, as it chooses to invest in the Philippines and expand its operations here. This is the same confidence expressed by foreign visitors, whose numbers continue to rise: the total number of visitors to our country in the first eight months of the year has risen by 11.72%, compared to the same period last year.

Indeed, all these show us we can be optimistic – but rest assured, that our administration will not be complacent, and rather, will continue working to ensure better lives for the Filipino people.

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