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Aquino cites foreign help

Manila, Philippines – President Aquino thanked the international community anew yesterday for the assistance in all the man-made and natural disasters that beset the country in 2013 during the annual New Year Vin d’Honneur in Malacanang.

The President said the international community had come to the Philippines’ aid immediately following disaster after disaster last year, expressing his optimism that cooperation among the Philippines and the international community will further deepen this year.

“In this first gathering of friends and partners for the New Year, it is also just and fitting that your role in our collective achievement be recognized,” Aquino said. “Many of the nations you represent have been our partners not just in overcoming one calamity, but in addressing the challenges that arose in the wake of many others.”

“For some other nations represented here today, you came to our assistance after “Yolanda.” By doing so, you opened a new chapter in our relations. The generosity you have shown serves as our firm foundation as we work to expand ever-widening horizons of our relationships. To our old allies, your commitment to helping our nation underscores the deep friendship and cooperation built over generations,” he added.

The President said Filipinos will never forget the assistance given by the international community during the times when help was direly needed.

Aquino also lauded the Filipino people for the collective achievements in 2013.

“Since 2010, we have been working to fulfill a mission: To empower every Filipino to become a proactive agent of change in nation-building, no longer plunged into cynicism or apathy as a reaction to an ever-changing world. In 2013, we witnessed for ourselves how this transformation is becoming permanent,” he said.

Aquino noted how Filipinos worked together in helping those affected by typhoon “Pablo” and the widespread flooding caused by the monsoon rains; the soldiers and volunteers who ensured the safety of the people of Zamboanga City; the overflowing aid in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Bohol, as well as those affected by Yolanda in Eastern Visayas. (Madel Namit)