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PIA Press Release

PGMA sends off "Caring and Sharing Caravan" to Bicol

Quezon City (12 December) -- Some 250 trucks and other vehicles laden with relief goods left for the Bicol region this morning in what was aptly called by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the government's "Caring and Sharing Caravan."

The caravan, spontaneously organized by civic-minded groups, is a tribute to the theme of the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Cebu that was called off on account of Typhoon Seniang which ravaged most parts of the Visayas over the weekend.

"I want every Filipino family to know that their government is ready to serve them in times of extreme distress when food, clean water, warm clothing and shelter cannot normally be availed of," the President said in her sendoff statement at the Central Business Park (CBP) along Diosdado Macapagal Ave. in Pasay City.

"Your President and the entire Cabinet feel your pain and we will do all we can to gather the energies and resources of the nation to help you," she added.

It will be recalled that the President agreed that the Summit in Cebu be postponed to January next year despite contrary opinions, as "she doesn't want to be attending the Summit when the typhoon was ravaging most homes along its path."

The President came to the sendoff to check on the schedules and destinations of the trucks in the caravan which was led by the Office of Civil defense (OCD) and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Military and police elements escorted the caravan to secure the relief goods for the victims of the typhoon.

The President commended all government officials as well as civic spirited leaders of the private sector who have joined the caravan.

"As this humanitarian effort traverses the disaster areas, giving aid and comfort to our distressed brethren, we symbolize a nation of one heart and one mind, a nation that derives its strength from unity and compassion, from the spirit of bayanihan and damayan," she said.

The President wished the convoy Godspeed, saying "I join the nation in their prayers for the comfort of the distressed, the healing of the families and communities that have lost brethren and loved ones in the wake of misfortunes." (PIA) [top]

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