Taiwan sending disaster relief to Philippines

AID::Aside from donating US$200,000, the foreign ministry is working with local charities and NGOs to work out how best to help with the relief efforts

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Tue, Nov 12, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwan is coordinating public and private resources to assist the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Southeast Asian country last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

“Our representative office in Manila conveyed a message of sympathy on behalf of our government and people to the Philippines right after the storm hit on Nov. 8,” ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said in an interview.

The government is donating US$200,000 to the post-disaster relief efforts in the Philippines, Kao said.

She added that the ministry was coordinating with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charities to work out how best to help with the relief efforts in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) donated US$10,000 to the Philippine government for disaster relief.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) instructed Department of International Affairs Director Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), who was in Manila for a Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) meeting, to make the donation.

DPP Legislator Hsiao Bikhim (蕭美琴) also donated US$1,000.

In related news, a Taiwanese man who has been teaching at a Chinese-language school in Tacloban, one of the hardest-hit regions, has reported that he is safe.

The man, surnamed Tseng (曾), who has been teaching at the school as alternative military service, was quoted by a school administrator as saying that he had telephoned his family to let them know that he was safe.

Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps (TRMPC) president Liu Chi-chun (劉啟群) yesterday said that his group would provide free medical services from Thursday through Nov. 21 in the hardest-hit areas of the Philippines.

Liu said volunteers from his group would travel to the storm-battered regions in the central Philippines with assistance from the local Rotary Club and Taiwanese businesspeople operating there.

TRMPC, one of the nation’s best-known medical NGOs, has been offering medical services or emergency humanitarian aid to disadvantaged Filipino citizens annually since 2000, with the exception of 2003, when Taiwan was hit by an outbreak of SARS, Liu said.

He said that the upcoming emergency relief work in the Philippines would not affect the group’s scheduled medical service trip to Haiti from Sunday through Nov. 29.

Volunteers from the corps’ branch in the US will also join the Hati mission, he added.