Press Release
March 15, 2023

CO-SPONSORSHIP SPEECH
SRN 535 - Commending the PH contingent in the rescue and recovery operations during the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Turkiye and Syria

March 15, 2023

Mr. President, as someone who has seen his fair share of destruction and devastation, with causes both natural and man-made, I rise today with a bittersweet sense of pride, co-sponsoring Proposed Senate Resolution No. 535, commending the Philippine Government Contingent for their valor and acts of service in the rescue and recovery operations conducted, following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Turkiye and Syria.

It was a calamity of epic proportions, with seismologists stating that it would likely be "one of the deadliest in this decade." With a death toll of over fifty thousand people, this earthquake and its wave of damage destroyed buildings, homes, families, and lives.

But it also spurred our bayanihan spirit into action.

Our quick and snappy response was in the form of an 82-personnel contingent. Coming from varied sectors, they were composed of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Department of Health, the Office of Civil Defense, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Subic Bay Development Authority. Together, they brought goods such as clothing and hygiene kits, and even offered assistance in the rescue and recovery operations in Turkiye.

Mr. President, there is an idiomatic expression, 'to put something on the map.' Generally speaking, it means to make famous, to make popular. Many times in the past, the Philippines has been put on the map through our many talents, as well as our hard working nature especially that of our OFWs.

However, Mr. President, these 82 people have put on the map the meaning of the Filipino spirit. In the time of dire need and desperation, we are not only resilient survivors. We rise to the occasion and give ourselves, unselfishly. Dahil sa ating pagbabayanihan, nakikilala rin ang Pilipino bilang bayani.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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