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PNoy to int'l community for disaster aid: We will never forget

Louis Bacani - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Friday offered a toast to the international organizations and countries that helped the Philippines during the recent calamities.

In his speech at the New Year Vin d’Honneur in Malacañang, Aquino thanked members of the diplomatic corps, heads of international organizations and other foreign guests for being partners with the Philippines in overcoming the disasters.

"To everyone gathered here, it is with a sincere sense of gratitude that I tell you: the Filipino people remember who their friends are. Filipinos never forget an instance of kindness, and will constantly look for ways to repay those who stood by them in the most difficult times. In our language, we call this 'utang ng loob,'" Aquino said.

The President told the foreign guests that they opened a new chapter in their relation with the Philippines with the generosity that they have shown.

Based on the website of the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH), the total foreign aid pledged so far amounts to P23.79 billion, of which P20.99 billion is non-cash.

The total cash received by the government is P592.58 million.

In the past two years, the Philippines faced devastating disasters including Typhoon Pablo, the monsoon rains (Habagat), the Zamboanga City standoff, the Bohol earthquake and Super Typhoon "Yolanda."

Aquino commended the disaster victims for their resilience and the Filipinos who helped them including overseas workers, scientists, social workers, government workers, soldiers and volunteers.

"Some of you have marveled at the resilience of our nation, a people whose faith, though challenged, remained constant and only deepened. Our unbreakable spirit and ability to recover find root in our firm belief in a benevolent God who has the perfect plan for all of us. These tragedies tell us that, despite all our efforts, we are indeed powerless without God," Aquino said.

AQUINO BOHOL FOREIGN AID TRANSPARENCY HUB HABAGAT HONNEUR NEW YEAR VIN PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO SUPER TYPHOON TYPHOON PABLO ZAMBOANGA CITY
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