President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Friday called on Filipinos to be optimistic about the new year.

In separate statements, the president and the vice president said 2022 could be a fresh start for Filipinos.

“As we take a whole-of-nation approach to recover and build back better, may we all be inspired by the promise of a new beginning that the New Year brings. Now, we are given a fresh start and opportunity to aim higher and to do things better—in the spirit of genuine malasakit at pagbabago,” Duterte said in his New Year message.

“Let all our aspirations and actions be guided by our strong sense of nationhood and our deep faith in the Almighty. May we also find a stronger and higher purpose in our lives so that we may pursue only what is good for our families, communities, and the entire nation,” he added.

The president also lauded Filipinos for adapting, enduring and emerging victorious after adversities.

“The dedication and courage of our people — especially our medical and essential frontliners, uniformed services, civilian personnel and volunteers—demonstrate what great things we can achieve if we work in solidarity,” he said.

Robredo, in her statement, said Filipinos should learn from 2021’s lessons.

“Panahon din ito ng pagbabalik-tanaw sa taong nagdaan, at sa aral na hatid nito: Anumang pagsubok ang hinaharap natin, nakaraos tayo dahil sa pagtutulungan at pakikiisa,” she said.

“Mas maliwanag at mas maginhawa ang inaasahan nating 2022 dahil mismo sa kaisipang…may lakas tayong maaasahan mula sa isa’t isa, at laging sapat ang lakas na ito para maalpasan ang anumang hamon,” she added.

The Philippines will enter 2022 with 14,233 active Covid-19 cases, 49,626,439 fully vaccinated individuals and 57,120,887 partially vaccinated Filipinos. John Ezekiel J. Hirro