Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, Representative of Taiwan (ROC), accompanied by the representative of the Philippine branch of Taiwan’s Tzu Chi Foundation, on behalf of the ROC (Taiwan) Government, donated 5 million pesos and 2,300 bags of rice (20 kg. each) to the Cagayan Provincial Government for the affected families and 500,000 pesos and 700 bags of rice (20 kg. each) to typhoon Haima victims in Aparri on December 14, 2016. In addition, extra 300 bags of rice (20 kg. each) were donated to the city of Buguey.
The donation of 5 million pesos together with 2,300 bags of Taiwan rice (20 kg. each) were turned over to Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba on behalf of the Cagayan government and its people. About 1,000 people, including Cagayan Representatives, government officials, judges, the media, fishery representatives, and tribe chiefs, attended the amicable donation ceremony and extended warm welcome to Representative Lin and his delegation.
Representative Lin addressed at the donation ceremony by emphasizing that “Taiwan is a close neighbor and a genuine friend of the Philippines. When I made the donation of 1 million pesos in Batanes on November 23, I was gratified to see that the relief fund from Taiwan could help the typhoon-affected families through the hardship especially before the end of this year.”
Representative Lin pointed out that Cagayan, like Batanes, is also close to Taiwan both geographically and psychologically, as it takes only one hour flight from Cagayan to Taiwan and as he also can listen to Taiwan’s radio programs there. He further elaborated, “Being in Cagayan feels being like home. Naturally, I feel sorry and heavy when learning that typhoon Haima struck Cagayan causing severe damages and losses. My heart goes out with you and I wish to express my deepest sympathy to the affected families. Taiwan will always extend a helping hand by making humanitarian donations as part of disaster relief efforts without blinking an eye”.
Representative Lin articulated that Taiwan’s immediate donations in Batanes and Cagayan also reflect the ROC (Taiwan)’s “New Southbound Policy” which attaches great importance to the Philippines. The core value of the “New Southbound Policy” is underlined by the building of connection based on the human touch and caring, aiming to enhance people to people interaction and mutual understanding. Representative Lin elaborated that “through Taiwan’s recent timely donations, the people of Cagayan will realize that they are not alone, as they will receive the loving care and good-will from Taiwanese. This has been an exemplification of the sharing of longstanding friendship between Taiwan and the Philippines. I wish the best for Cagayan, hoping that the affected families can get back on their feet and regain their strengths, and that the damaged infrastructure and housing will be quickly reconstructed and rebuilt.”
Representative Lin also hoped that the Cagayan government may look after the Taiwanese fishing vessels which sometimes arrive in Cagayan for supplies from March to June yearly during the fishing season.
In return, Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the generous donation from Taiwan, as it urgently needs the monetary assistance after the wrecking of typhoon Haima.
On the same day, Representative Lin and his delegation also traveled to Aparri, where he turned over another 500,000 pesos and 700 bags of rice (20 kg. each) as typhoon relief donation to the Aparri Mayor Shalimar Tumaru, who also expressed her deep appreciation for Taiwan’s continuous generous act.
Taiwan’s recent donations in November and December are a testimony of solid and robust Taiwan-Philippine relationship that has been growing even stronger today.
In sum, Taiwan has donated a total of 5.5 million pesos cash and 3,300 bags (20 kg. each) of rice. According to the market price here in the Philippines, one kilo of rice is worth 100 pesos. The 3,300 bags are totally worth 6.6 million pesos.
Moreover, the Tzu Chi Foundation had already donated each household 10,000 pesos for a total of 93 households in November in Cagayan immediately after the typhoon Haima struck Cagayan.
The combined total donations from Taiwan, as mentioned above, are worth 13 million and 30 thousand pesos in total, which demonstrate the genuine friendship and solidarity between the peoples of Taiwan and the Philippines at a time of facing the common challenges of natural disasters.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines