Enrile prays: Forgive us in these hard times
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - November 18, 2013 - 6:02pm

MANILA, Philippines - Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile on Monday pleaded for prayers for more strength for the Filipino people amid the devastation wrought by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Visayas and other parts of the country.

“We beseech You to forgive us if, in these hard times, our survival instincts have made us forget the law. Forgive us if, in moments of strong emotion, we have blamed others for inability to lend complete relief to those who are suffering,” Enrile said.

The opposition senator did not criticize that administration in his prayer but he sought the Lord for forgiveness “if, in moments of blind hubris, we become quick to impute malice on the action of others.”

“Energize our capacity for silent charity as we dig deeper into our resources to help our brothers and sisters who have taken beating and suffered more than what is expected in one lifetime,” Enrile prayed on.

“Strengthen our faith that we may overcome and be born again into a new world wiser and more human to the needs of others,” he added, as he noted how every survivor has become “weary and burdened” by nature’s fury that led to the massive loss of lives and property.

It was Enrile’s turn to say the prayer at the resumption of the Senate session, following a three-week break.

'Yolanda's' wrath damages P10-B crops, infra

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported that nearly P10-billion in crops and infrastructure have been damaged in the provinces affected by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Director Romeo Recide, the DA’s bureau of agricultural statistics, said P7.7-billion of the amount comes from losses on various commodities, crops to fisheries while P1.346-billion were lost to infrastructure or a total of P9.089-billion as of November 14.

On rice alone, the volume lost to the typhoon nationwide was placed at 145,779 metric tons or an equivalent to P2.4 billion; 17, 881 metric tons of corn estimated at P226 million; cassava, coconut, banan, vegetables and other crops accounted for P600 million; livestock costing P 2.1 billion; and fisheries at P 1 billion.

Under infrastructure, the DA executive reported that the biggest lost recorded was in irrigation pegged at P212-million while damage to fisheries’ infrastructure was placed at P333.7-million. Damage to other facilities and equipment were pegged at P800 million or a total of P1.346 billion under infrastructure.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate agriculture committee, said there is a need to apprise the Senate on the country’s rice production to ensure that the people will have enough supply in the next few month.

Villar noted that the DA has announced that its production output is projected at 20-million metric tons, which is enough to feed 95 million Filipinos.

She added that there is a need to revisit the government’s strategies and policies on rice sufficiency amid reports of unabated rice smuggling in the country.

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