Press Release
October 1, 2018

Senate passes Leyte Resilience Day bill to honor Typhoon Yolanda victims

The Senate today passed on third and final reading a bill declaring November 8 as a special non-working holiday in the province of Leyte, in honor of the "extra-ordinary courage of the unsung heroes of typhoon Yolanda."

House Bill No. 6591 was sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, with amendments introduced by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. The measure was approved with 17 affirmative votes, no negative vote and zero abstention.

"We carry a duty to remember this part of our history that killed, injured and displaced thousands of Filipinos. This is so that we will never forget how far we have come from the chaos and hardship of that fateful day due to Filipino resilience and the spirit of bayanihan," Angara said.

The holiday, Angara said, is meant to "to salute the resiliency and selflessness of volunteers and organizations who took part and contributed to the recovery and rehabilitation of all affected communities."

"We recognize the need not just to grieve for the victims of national disasters but also to celebrate Filipino's resiliency and indomitable spirit," he said.

"Those who perished are not statistics, and those who worked in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts are true heroes who should never be forgotten," Angara added.

Angara also said the holiday would allow Filipinos "to continually reflect on improving our infrastructure and disaster response capability."

"Tragedies almost always accompany the typhoons and other natural disasters which strike the country almost every month. However, it is important for our communities to band together and help each other address these disasters so that we, as a nation, can rise above these tragedies," he said.

On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda, known internationally as Haiyan, with sustained winds of 315 kilometers per hour gustiness of up to 380 kph, and storm surges of over four meters, swept through the Philippines, severely affecting the Eastern Visayas area.

Considered as one of the strongest tropical cyclones to make landfall in world history, the typhoon affected almost 12.2 million people, caused more than 6,000 deaths, 27,022 injuries, and left 1,779 persons missing. The total damage from the calamity was estimated at around P571.1 billion. (AY Almirañez)

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