Villamor Air Base, Pasay City
14 November 2013

President Benigno S. Aquino III visited the Philippine Air Force gym, one of five food repacking centers especially set up to meet the target of 140,000 food packs daily that will be sent to the victims of super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (international name:  Haiyan) in the Visayas region.

The President shared the problem being faced by the national government in its efforts to aid the victims – an estimate of 275,000 affected families who do not eat, areas with no electricity, no stores open, debris that have not been cleared, including the dead.  According to him, if you multiply each family by five persons, this totals to around 1.4 million people that needs food.  In order to meet the target, government is trying to produce and is very close to producing 140,000 food packs per day.

Moreover, about a hundred transmission towers were toppled by Yolanda including the grid line connecting Luzon to Visayas.  Even the geothermal plant in Leyte was not spared by the super typhoon.  President Aquino said that the earliest time power can be restored in the province would be on December 15, without any assurance.

President Aquino expressed his appreciation to the volunteers on behalf of the victims and the nation while at the same time, urged them to encourage more people to help pack the relief food to speed up the process of delivering food, water, tents and other basic needs to the victims who have been deprived of these for almost a week now.  At present, only rice has been delivered to forty towns in Leyte so the people could eat at the most.

Although there is no easy solution to the tremendous challenge now and what lies ahead, the President believes that the solidarity and cooperation being displayed by the government and Filipinos alike would accelerate the rebuilding of their countrymen’s lives.

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