By Roy Mabasa
The government of Saudi Arabia on Monday turned over some 60 metric tons of pressed dates as a gift to the Philippine government and the Filipino people.
Saudi Ambassador to Manila Dr. Abdullah Al Bussairy handed over the dates to representatives of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a ceremony at the Saudi Embassy in Makati City.
Representatives from the Saudi Ministry of Finance and the King Salman Humanitarian Relief Centre witnessed the said turnover.
In the run-up to Ramadan, Saudi Arabia has distributed a total of 6,500 tons of dates to about 43 different countries around the world, including the Philippines.
Known for its nutritional value, the pressed dates will provide support food requirements as the month of fasting approaches.
Last year, the Saudi Kingdom also donated a similar amount of dates to the Philippine government and the Philippine Red Cross as a “humanitarian gesture” to the Filipino people.
According to Saudi officials, the dates are special gifts and an affirmation on the depth of the bilateral relations between the two countries.
It emphasized that such humanitarian initiatives are clear messages about the “solidarity of the two friendly governments and peoples in all aspects and angles.”