Quake aid given to Manila
The government donated US$100,000 to the Philippines on Wednesday to aid with disaster relief in the wake of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the central provinces of that nation earlier this month. The donation was handed over by Taiwanese officials in Manila to Philippines Secretary for Social Welfare and Development Corazon Soliman. She thanked Taiwan for its assistance and said the money would be used to buy emergency packs that each contain two weeks’ worth of food supplies and daily necessities. Representative to the Philippines Raymond Wang (王樂生) said the Philippine chapter of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation has also donated 3 million Philippine pesos (US$69,600) and 1,000 blankets to the residents of Bohol. The Taiwan Association of the Philippines has applied to the Council of Agriculture for 250 tonnes of rice, which will be sent to residents affected by the quake, Wang said.
MAC lauds health coverage
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Wednesday praised a new Chinese policy that allows Taiwanese undergraduate and graduate students there to enjoy the same medical insurance rights as Chinese students. The council said it is pleased with the insurance scheme, adding that Taiwan is also committed to pushing a similar policy for covering Chinese students in the National Health Insurance system. The council said it will continue to seek support from lawmakers for a speedy review of a proposed amendment that was sent to the legislature in October last year, in order to build a friendlier learning environment for Chinese students. According to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Taiwanese students have been allowed to participate in basic medical insurance as of September.