By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Jan 16 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino on Thursday expressed deep admiration for employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who continued to help calamity victims despite being subjected to public criticism.
During the DSWD’s 63rd anniversary, Pres. Aquino thanked agency officials and personnel for not giving up on their jobs despite being criticized more often instead of being appreciated for their hard work.
“Often, there are more criticisms than expressions of gratitude,” he told the DSWD employees in Filipino. “I am delighted; I am impressed that no one of you have ever waved the white flag to say ‘I’m giving up,’” he said.
He also noted their venerable traits such as dedication which was seen in many of them who refused to take naps in the middle of relief operations to avoid being told that they were not doing their jobs.
“Not everyone can do what you can do,” he said. “In times of calamity, many of you don’t have time to sit around because of the amount of tasks that needs to be accomplished.”
“When relief goods or medicine are delayed for even a few seconds, this cannot serve as an excuse because you know that there are many hungry, thirsty, sick, afraid or depressed,” he added.
The President said that the DSWD would be among the agencies tasked to handle unfortunate situations among Filipinos not just during disasters but everyday problems as well.
He gave special citations to two DSWD employees, Franco Bitara and Noemi Mongaya, employees from Region V and VIII, respectively, who were injured in a helicopter crash while on their way to relief operations for typhoon victims in Leyte.
“They were placed on the brink of death while accomplishing a mission and goal of the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” he said. “We should make them feel the importance and admiration they deserve.”
Pres. Aquino said that the mandate of DSWD was more than just to look out for people’s welfare but also to make sure that there is development among them.
“In the end, a person or institution is not regarded for how long she has lasted in this world, but on how many people she has helped; on how many lives she has changed,” President Aquino said.
“Let us continue doing everything we can,” he added. “We have gone a long way and I know that as long as you continue to contribute, we will go farther.” (PNA)