Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RP appeals for foreign aid for ‘Ondoy’ victims

The Philippine government on Monday appealed to the international community for help as it deals with the devastation caused by tropical storm “Ondoy," which battered Metro Manila and nearby provinces last Saturday and left more than a hundred people dead.

The appeal was made by Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., also the concurrent head of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), on behalf of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“The President authorized me as chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council… to request the international humanitarian community for assistance on behalf of the government of the Philippines," he said in a press briefing at the NDCC office in Camp Aguinaldo.

A total of 140 people were confirmed dead while 32 others were reported missing due to “Ondoy" as of Monday night, according to the NDCC.

Teodoro said they are requesting the office of the United Nations resident coordinator to coordinate an international appeal in behalf of the Philippine government.

“I have just authorized sending out of a flash appeal for assistance," he said.

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This early, Japan has extended Y20-million (P10.478-million) worth of relief goods for those affected by the floods caused by “Ondoy."

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada sent a letter to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo expressing his country’s heartfelt sympathy to the loss of many lives and serious damage to property.

"The Government of Japan, in response to the request from the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, has decided to provide emergency relief goods equivalent to approximately 20 million yen (approximately US$220,000) to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines," the Japanese Embassy said in a statement on its Web site.

Similarly, Chinese firm Hwawei would donate $30,000 to be used for the relief operations for “Ondoy" victims. This was in addition to the $10,000 earlier given by the Chinese government for disaster relief assistance to the country.

Hwawei’s cash assistance would be personally given to Vice President Noli de Castro on Monday night during the celebration of the 60th Chinese National Day.

“Some of our Filipino friends find it hard, some even impossible, to celebrate with us because of ‘Ondoy’," said Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchiao.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Franklin Ebdalin thanked the Chinese government for its generosity. - GMANews.TV

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