The Philippines has expressed gratitude to its Southeast Asian neighbors for their assistance when calamities struck the country and promised to reciprocate their generosity.
“The Philippines will never forget the timely assistance from fellow ASEAN countries,” President Duterte said at the start of the regional summit in Manila.
“During our time of greatest need, you were there. We are eternally grateful. Today, I say the Philippines will do its own part to help those who are in need in our region and beyond,” he said.
The President recognized that the region is one of the most vulnerable to natural disasters. He said the Philippines has borne the brunt of nature’s force, citing the destruction left by typhoon “Yolanda” or “Haiyan” more than three years ago.
“In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan turned some provinces and cities into wastelands. Thousands of lives were lost,” he said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)