Press Release
September 17, 2018

Koko Praises Display of Bayanihan Spirit as Malls, Churches and Ports Offer Shelter During Typhoon

While Ompong left a trail of destruction in its wake before exiting the country Saturday night, the typhoon proved that the Filipino bayanihan spirit was alive and well.

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III gave full praise to mall chains which opened their doors to the public amid the flooding in various parts of Metro Manila.

In their respective social media accounts, SM Super Malls, Ayala Malls, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls and Robinsons Malls announced they were waiving overnight parking charges for those who needed shelter. A number of these establishments even offered free use of lounges and comfort rooms as well as wi-fi and phone charging services.

"Filipinos have a 'mall culture', we heavily patronize malls. It's comforting and reassuring to know that in times of need, these malls take the initiative to give back to the public," Pimentel said.

Pimentel likewise praised The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for offering its church buildings as shelter even to non-members, additionally providing food, water, and other basic supplies to those who came.

The bayanihan spirit, the senator noted, was also reported in various ports. The Asian Terminal Inc., the Philippine Red Cross, and the Batangas social welfare office worked hand-in-hand to distribute free meals to stranded passengers at the Batangas port.

"In the face of disasters and calamities, we saw generosity and altruism. It's my hope that this close cooperation between the private sector, the government and the public isn't limited to times of need. We need everyday acts of heroism and concern," Pimentel said.

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