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Typhoon Odette: The 2022 presidential aspirants' initiatives amid the calamity

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Dec 17, 2021 10:02 pm Updated Dec 18, 2021 9:39 am

With super typhoon Odette devastating a number of communities in the Visayas and Mindanao provinces, the importance of good leadership and governance has once again been placed at the forefront of calamity response.

To recap, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced that Odette made its first landfall over Siargao in Surigao del Norte with maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h and gustiness of up to 240 km/h. At least 100,000 individuals in over 11 regions have evacuated their homes.

With that in mind, we take a look at some of the moves made by the 2022 presidential aspirants in light of the Typhoon Odette crisis.

Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao called the attention of his fellow presidentiables on Thursday, Dec. 14, to come together to "set aside all politics and join together all our resources to help our fellow Filipinos in Visayas and Mindanao".

In a Facebook post, the senator tagged the respective accounts of the candidates and said: "Magsama-sama tayo upang tulungan ang ating mga kababayan na nasalanta ng bagyo. Now is the time to come together as one."

He has also set up a Typhoon Odette-specific relief fund under his nonprofit organization, the Pacquiao Foundation.

Leni Robredo

Robredo and Pacquiao had an exchange on Twitter and agreed to join forces to coordinate relief efforts.

"Joining you in this call, Sen Manny," Robredo replied. Pacquiao promptly responded: "Thank you VP Leni. Lets begin coordinating our efforts, we already prepared cargo planes so we can mobilize and respond quickly."

Robredo has also shared a number of updates from the Office of the Vice President, which includes donating cash and in-kind donations to victims and setting up a relief hub in Quezon City.

Robredo likewise visited Bohol once it had been cleared to assess the situation.

Panfilo Lacson

Meanwhile, Lacson hit back at Pacquiao's call for support and dubbed it as a form of "calamity politics" because of the nature of Pacquiao's social media post.

"It goes against my principled belief that 'calamity politics' is the lowest form of campaigning," the Senator said. "In fact, I consider it abominable." He went on to share his previous relief projects in Cagayan Valley and the Bicol region "election or no election."

In a Facebook post, Lacson also said they will "help without fanfare." 

Isko Moreno

In a special session of the Manila City Council, Moreno urged Manileños to aid those affected by the severe storm, while also filing a resolution to authorize funding for relief operations in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The Manila mayor has also shared Manila-based donation drives through his social media pages.

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio reached out to their volunteer network, UniTeam alliance, to distribute relief packs comprised of rice, canned goods, milk and instant coffee.

They shared that they have prepared over 6,000 relief packs for Samar, 6,000 for Leyte, 2,000 for Tacloban and 6,000 for Masbate.

Leody de Guzman

The labor leader positively responded to Pacquiao's call for unity, sharing via Twitter: "Wala man akong personal na kakayahan para maglaan ng rekurso, buong-puso at lakas naming itataya ang sama-samang pagkilos ng mga kasapi ng Partido Lakas ng Masa."

De Guzman also called forth the need for long-term solutions to uplift workers' rights.

"Sa pagkakataong ito, hinihingi ko sa mga kapwa kandidato ang pagtindig at paglaban, kasama ng manggagawa’t maralita, sa mga patakaran at kalakarang mapang-abuso’t mapagsamantala," he added.