Foreign donations continue to outpour for ‘Odette’-affected PH

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MANILA – The outpour of relief assistance from various foreign donors continues for the victims of Typhoon Odette, with more countries including the United States, South Korea, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar donating more goods and pledging cash assistance.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. personally thanked the US government on Wednesday for an additional PHP950 million in humanitarian aid to the country, which would provide food, water, and temporary shelter needs to the worst-affected communities in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“We welcome the urgent action taken by the U.S. government in mobilizing funds and its people to support us in our time of great need. I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude to the U.S. Embassy and the USAID. You are indeed our allies, partners, and friends,” he said in a joint presser at the DFA office in Pasay.

Locsin emphasized that the US is now the “single largest country contributor” to the government’s efforts to assist communities devastated by the typhoon in beginning the process of rebuilding their homes and lives.

US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Heather Variava stated that the US will continue to work with the Philippines to help bolster its natural disaster response and assist Filipinos in their recovery efforts.

She also did mention the contributions made by US companies to areas hit by Typhoon Odette, such as McDonald’s, which provided 20,000 meals, Coca-Cola, which supplied over 26,000 liters of water, and Procter & Gamble, which provided PHP800,000 worth of hygiene products via the Philippine Coast Guard.

“During this year of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries, the United States remains as committed as ever to working alongside our friends, partners, and allies in the Philippines to respond to the devastating impact of Typhoon Odette and bring much-needed relief and assistance to the Filipinos whose lives have been upended,” she said.

Surigao del Norte, Siargao, Dinagat Islands, Southern Leyte, and Bohol are among the priority areas expected to benefit from the latest US funding, with a focus on the hardest-hit towns.

According to Locsin, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are among the most recent countries to pledge aid to the country’s typhoon relief efforts, with the latter expected to send two planeloads of goods.

China also donated PHP1 million worth of bottled drinking water to be distributed to the families of those hit by the storm.

Moreover, the Taiwanese Compatriot Association in the Philippines (TCAIP) gave PHP2 million through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office on Wednesday to aid the country’s relief efforts.

Aside from the latest donors, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Hungary, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, the European Union, as well as the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund earlier allocated separate relief packages for the Philippines.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.