Aquino talks about hope after calamities, 2016
A media forum called Bulong Pulungan on Tuesday gave President Benigno Aquino III its “Man of Steel” award for steering the Philippine economy to new heights.
During the televised media forum, Aquino admitted that 2013 has been tough because of the natural and man-made forces, yet he noted that the government never gave up.
Aquino said he will not be able to accomplish anything without the efforts of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman.
“Pag pinupuri ako sinasabe ko hindi ko ito nagawa mag isa. Sila Gazmin, Roxas at Soliman, sila po ang nasa frontline from Zambo, Bohol to Leyte [When I'm being praised, I say I didn't do it alone. Gazmin, Roxaas adn Soliman, they are in the frontline from Zambo, Bohol to Leyte],” Aquino said.
Aquino said he is honored to lead the Filipinos who never gave up despite the challenges brought by different calamities such as the 7.2 magnitude-earthquake in Bohol, the Zamboanga rebel crisis and super typhoon Yolanda which all caused massive damages in lives and properties.
“Ngayon gusto kong ideklara na talagang malaking karangalan ang maglingkod sa sambayanang Pilipino,” Aquino said.
“Mabigat ang taong ito pero hindi ito panahon ng pagsuko [Now I want to declare that it's truly an honor to serve the Filipino people. It's a tough year but it's not the time to surrender],” Aquino added.
Aquino noted seeing improvements in Bohol during his last visit.
Aquino, meanwhile, vowed to rehabilitate and reconstruct Yolanda hit areas and make them a better place.
“Tila may liwanag na kung paano natin ibabangon uli, hindi dahil sa kagustohan lang pero may plano na. Hindi lang tulad ng dati, pero mas maganda pa sa dati [There's like a light now on how we will again make it stand up, not only because we want to but now there's a plan. It won't be just like it was, but better than before],” Aquino said.
He admitted that his worst day of 2013 was the day after Yolanda when reports started coming in. When asked what makes him get out of bed on his worst day, Aquino said, “Para sa bayan [For the people]“.
“Ayaw kong umabot sa pagsisisi; gusto ko gawin lahat ng magagawa, at least hindi ako sumuko at hindi ako umatras [I don’t want to have regrets; I want to do whatever is possible, at least I didn’t surrender and I didn’t back out,” Aquino said.
Aquino also took time to praise and thank the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the soldiers and police, the Filipinos and the cabinet members for their response during the calamities.
With about 940 days left in his presidency, Aquino said he wants to see “expression of can-do attitude” among Filipinos when he steps down. Meanwhile, his Christmas wish is for this year’s book of calamities to be over.