IOC to aid Yolanda, earthquake victims

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 20 2014 06:58 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2014 02:58 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Areas that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda will not be the only ones that will benefit from the financial assistance extended by the International Olympic Committee.

Jose Cojuangco, president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, said they will also look into places that were hit by natural calamities other than Yolanda last November.

Cojuangco did not specify the places he had in mind but it could include Bohol and its neighboring areas that were hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October.

In November, Yolanda wreaked havoc in the Visayas, leaving a great trail of devastation in the provinces of Eastern Samar and Leyte.

At the close of the 32nd Olympic Council of Asia general assembly the other day at the PICC, the IOC announced it is donating $450,000 or P20.5 million to the POC.

The amount will be used for the rehabilitation of sports facilities damaged by the typhoon. The Japan Olympic Committee also donated $30,000 for the relief efforts.

“There are other areas that were affected by previous calamities. We will look into them as well. It’s not only those that were affected by Yolanda but the other areas, too,” said Cojuangco

International Olympic Committee representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski will constantly update the IOC on the rehabilitation projects.

The foreign delegates that attended the two-day OCA event all expressed their sympathy to the host country. Just by coming over, they were able to air their support.

“I really did not expect it but they showed great sympathy,” said Cojuangco as the last of the delegates flew out of the country yesterday.

Olympic Council of Asia chief Sheilk Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah last Friday signed a memorandum of agreement with Cojuangco regarding an agricultural livelihood program.

It is aimed at helping farmers that were affected by Yolanda. The project will begin with rice production. It will work under the umbrella of the Kuwait-Philippines Peace and Development Foundation.

“I’m happier with the fact that Sheikh Al-Sabah is helping out in the livelihood project,” said Cojuangco who was all praises for all the OCA and IOC delegates who came over.

“The real Filipino hospitality, the attitude we showed toward them, was all we could give them during their stay here. And when they return home they will tell of their wonderful experience here,” he said.

“It was a very successful hosting. It was a very fruitful one not just for the POC and Philippine sports but the entire country as well,” said POC vice president Jose Romasanta.

Cojuangco stressed that what the Philippines gained in hosting the OCA general assembly cannot be measured or quantified by any means.

“It’s priceless,” he said.