Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and city officials yesterday said that the city government has opened an account to receive donations from the public for typhoon-battered regions in the Philippines.
The Taipei City Government’s Department of Social Welfare is to donate the funds from the account to “recognized multinational relief groups,” department head Chiang Yi-wen (江綺雯) said.
Those interested in contributing can transfer any denomination to account number 188-98514, which is under the Department of Social Welfare’s Chinese name.
Chiang announced the fund drive during a visit with Hau to St Christopher’s Church, a popular place of worship for Catholic Filipino workers and residents in Taipei.
Churchgoers and concerned individuals gathered at the Zhongshan North Road location in the morning to collect material aid for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which tore through the central Philippines on Nov. 8, leaving thousands dead and tens of thousands displaced.
Chiang, a devout Catholic, and Hau joined a mass at the church, where they prayed for Taiwan’s neighbor as it picks up the pieces left by one of the strongest storms ever recorded.
Thanking Filipino workers for their contribution to Taiwan, Hau called on all Taipei residents to show neighborly love for the Philippines in its time of need.
“Saving lives and giving humanitarian aid knows no borders,” the mayor said, asking Taiwanese to put aside their hard feelings over a shooting incident that left a Taiwanese fisherman dead at the hands of Philippine Coast Guard personnel in May.
Extending a helping hand to those in need is an “exceptional tradition” of Taiwanese, he added, encouraging the public to make donations to supply people with basic life necessities.
Quoting the Book of Matthew, Chiang said: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
As of noon yesterday, the death toll from Haiyan had risen to nearly 3,700 and was expected to keep climbing, according to Philippine news network ABS-CBN.