MANILA — The government of Taiwan on Wednesday donated $200,000 (P11.149 million) to the Philippines to assist in the disaster relief efforts and humanitarian operations in Abra and other areas hit by the powerful July 27 Luzon earthquake.
Peiyung Hsu of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines presented the check to Silvestre Bello III, Chairman and Resident Representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in a handover ceremony Wednesday morning.
Abra Gov. Dominic Valera and Bangued Mayor Mila Valera were also present.
“We hope to see the people in the province of Abra and also the neighboring (provinces) could have their life back to normal as soon as possible and we hope our donation could also help the recovery work in the province of Abra,” Representative Hsu said.
Bello and Valera thanked Taiwan for the donation.
“With the help of the donation from Taipei, Bangued, Abra will rise again… Thank you so much,” Governor Valera said.
“We would like to state for the record that our President, His Excellency, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the people of the Philippines, truly appreciate this genuine gesture of benevolence and care of the Taiwanese government,” Bello said.
TAIWAN STRAIT DEVELOPMENTS
Meanwhile, Bello said that there is still no request for shelter or repatriation among Filipinos in Taiwan, given recent rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
“So far from the report of my deputy resident representative and also from our labor attache, the condition of our people there is very normal. So far there is no request for shelter and much less a request for repatriation so everything there is doing all right,” Bello told reporters.
Hsu also called on China to exercise restraint, saying the live fire military exercise conducted by China is “very provocative” and “very irresponsible.”
“The live fire military exercises China has conducted in areas throughout Taiwan is very provocative, very irresponsible and very dangerous. We solemnly call on China to act with reason and to exercise restraint. In Taiwan, we will not act in haste, we are calm but we will not back down. I think we are open to a constructive dialogue. We hope to see the deescalation of tension in the Taiwan Strait. We want to make sure and maintain a peaceful and stable status quo in the Taiwan Strait;” Hsu told reporters.
Hsu said Taiwan is determined to protect its freedom, democracy and people as well as Filipino workers in Taiwan.
“I dont’t think you have to worry about the almost 160,000 OFWs in Taiwan. I think they are safe, they are secure,” Hsu said.