President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday urged Filipinos to welcome Christmas Day with strong faith and hope, especially as the nation continues to recover from the effects of Typhoon Odette and the pandemic.
“I joined all Christians here in the Philippines and around the world in celebrating the blessed season of Christmas,” the Chief Executive said in a statement.
“May we all be united in spreading love, compassion, and happiness to our families and friends, and even those whom we need to reach out to,” the Palace statement said.
The President added that there is a time and season for everything and that Christmas is a time for peace.
“Let us continue to help each other to heal and rebuild our lives. This will lead us to open our hearts and our homes, especially for those who are most in need so that they, too, may have joy and hope while we all work together towards better days ahead. Isang masaya, pinagpala at makabuluhang Pasko sa ating lahat (A happy, blessed, and worthwhile Christmas to all),” Duterte said.
In a separate statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar urged the public to continue observing the minimum health protocols and participate in the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program to achieve “collective healing and recovery from this global health crisis.”
Andanar also sympathized with the victims of the recent typhoon.
“Although this sacred and joyful occasion is often spent reflecting and celebrating with families, loved ones, and friends, the current situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly the Omicron variant, calls for us to virtually observe this holiday season or have gatherings at a limited capacity,” he said.
Andanar also expressed hope that the lessons and morals from the Savior’s birth and the displayed humility, compassion, and kindness of Christ may encourage each Filipino to help our fellow countrymen who are enduring the impact of “Odette”.
“Let us impart His love and blessings through the spirit of Bayanihan and give to those in need,” he said. “With this, we extend our warmest greetings to all the Filipinos here and around the world as we celebrate Christmas today.”