Press Release
January 2, 2010

Starting 2010 in a positive note...
Villar Thanks Volunteers; Pays Tribute to Good Samaritans
Disasters and calamities are no match to the Filipinos' spirit of volunteerism and bayanihan

The year 2009 may have been marred with a succession of disasters and calamities, but Nacionalista Party President Senator Manny Villar, believes that these only brought the best among Filipinos.

He pays tribute in particular to the nameless and faceless volunteers who helped various groups such as the Tulong Villar Relief Assistance and Villar Foundation, in carrying out relief and emergency operations in disaster-stricken areas.

"It is true that bad things bring out the best in people. This can't be more applicable than here in the Philippines. When a disaster strikes a community, for instance, the whole barangay will pitch in to help. This brings to mind the image of bayanihan where a group of Filipinos help carry a house from one place to another," said Villar.

According to Villar, the spirit of volunteerism and bayahihan is still alive and active in the country, contrary to cynics' claim that nowadays Filipinos live for themselves only. "I personally witness the hard work and dedication of volunteers in our group's charity efforts and activities. During the recent typhoons, hundreds of young volunteers helped us pack and distribute relief goods round the clock. These volunteers do not mind the physical exhaustion. Their minds are set towards helping the victims as soon as possible."

"Most of the volunteers are also young, thus, it is not true that youth is wasted on the young. The Filipino youth are now more socially aware and involved. Many of them have come out of their comfort zones to help less fortunate people. This will serve the country well. We need more volunteers," said Villar.

Villar added, "Our volunteers are active all year round. When a disaster strikes, they immediately re-group to extend help. Many of them are in fact busy, assisting displaced residents from the recent fire in the cities of Pasay and Makati, who spent the holidays in evacuation centers. There are also volunteers in Albay to help displaced residents around Mt. Mayon."

Villar reminded the government, present and future, that volunteer work is not enough, concrete and comprehensive social reform is urgently needed to address the needs of Filipinos in the midst of emergencies, disasters and other dire circumstances.

News Latest News Feed