The Government of Taiwan and the Tzu Chi Foundation have jointly donated P13.03 million worth of reconstruction, cash, and rice relief to typhoon “Lawin” (international name: “Haima”) families in Cagayan, Aparri City and Buguey City.
Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, Representative of Taiwan, accompanied by the representative of the Philippine branch of Taiwan’s Tzu Chi Foundation, on behalf of Taiwan, donated P5 million and 2,300 bags of rice (20 kg. each) to the Cagayan Provincial Government for the affected families and P500,000 and 700 bags of rice (20 kg. each) to typhoon Lawin victims in Aparri last December 14. In addition, extra 300 bags of rice (20 kg each) were donated to the city of Buguey.
The donation of P5 million 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.
Rep. Lin addressed 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.”
Rep. 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.”
In sum, Taiwan has donated a total of P5.5 million cash and 3,300 bags (20 kg each) of rice.
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 and Tzu Chi Foundation 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.
He said that Taiwan’s immediate donations in Batanes and Cagayan also reflect the (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.
Rep. Lin hoped that the Cagayan local government may look after the Taiwanese fishing vessels which sometimes arrive in Cagayan for supplies from March to June yearly during the fishing season.