Duterte: 2017 a year of sorrow

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte lamented how 2017 has become a year of “sorrow” with the onslaught of disasters and calamities that struck the country as the year is about to end. 

“There have been too many deaths in 2017. We end 2017 with a bang. With so many deaths… we go from one sorrow to another,” Duterte said during the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) briefing in Tubod, Lanao del Norte yesterday afternoon.

The President traveled to Northern Mindanao to check on the situation after the area was hit by floods brought by Tropical Storm Vinta that claimed over 200 lives in the south. 

“It was not really a good Christmas for us,” the President said, referring to deaths by fire – the razing of NCCC Mall in Davao City that claimed 38 lives – and water due to Tropical Storm Vinta. 

“Napakalungkot sabihin (very sad to say) we will continue to suffer damages as the year is about to end,” he said. 

The year was not only marked by so many deaths and destruction from disasters and calamities but also by the siege of Marawi City that claimed more than 1,000 lives, including over 200 government troops.

Floods and landslides also occurred in several parts of the country, including Samar, Leyte and eastern Mindanao. 

Duterte stressed that it boils down to money since government has to respond to the unfortunate incidents. 

“It boils down to money from damages and lives,” the President said, citing the Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development as well as the Department of Public Works and Highways. 

The President said that funds would be available, especially for education and agriculture. 

“I am sure there is still some money to spare and share with you in this sorrowful environment,” the President said. 

But the President was also quick to point out that he is praying that next year would be a much better year than 2017.

“Hopefully, 2018, I hope that next year Allah would give us a new beginning,” he said.

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