By Roy Mabasa
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday turned over to the Philippine government and the Philippine Red Cross its donation of some 60 metric tons of pressed dates as a humanitarian gesture to the Filipino people.
Saudi Ambassador to the Philippines Abdullah Al Bussairy said the dates are special gifts sent by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz as an affirmation on the depth of the bilateral relations between the two countries.
“This gift is part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian and social contribution to the Philippines besides its keen concern to send humanitarian relief assistance to the victims of natural calamities and crisis in different devastated areas of the country in the past years,” Bussairy said in his speech at the ceremonial turnover held at the Saudi Embassy in Makati City.
The Saudi envoy said such humanitarian initiatives are clear messages that emphasize the “solidarity of the two friendly governments and peoples in all aspects and angles.”
The top Saudi diplomat explained that every year, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donates tons of the pressed dates to the Philippines and other countries of the world to affected areas of calamities, as a “fitting act to address hunger and poverty and mitigate humanitarian problems across the world.”
In their remarks, Philippine Red Cross secretary general Oscar Palabyab and National Commission on Muslim Filipinos officer-in-charge Tahir Lidasan Jr. thanked the Saudi government for their continuous assistance to the Philippines in times of crisis and disasters.
The pressed dates will be separately distributed by the PRC and the NCMF in areas that were affected by previous typhoons particularly in Mindanao and Metro Manila, as well as to those who were displaced by the siege in Marawi City.
Assisting the Saudi ambassador in the handover of the donations were Saudi Ministry of Finance officials led by Fahd Al Munif and Hazzam bin Saidan, as well as Bander Ali Aldubib of the King Salman Humanitarian Relief and Aid Center.
Tags: dates, humanitarian, humanitarian gesture, humanitarian relief, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, natural calamities, Philippine government, Philippines Abdullah Al Bussairy, Saudi Ambassador, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Embassy, Saudi government, the Philippines