Taiwan donates P13.5M aid to ‘Ompong’hit northern Luzon

MANILA Victims of Typhoon Ompong in northern Luzon are set to receive USD250,000 or approximately PHP13.5million worth of assistance from Taiwan.

Peiyung Hsu, representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, turned over the donation to Angelito Banayo, chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) on Tuesday night.

Hsu said the donation reflects the "genuine friendship and solidarity" between the people of Taiwan and the Philippines.

According to TECO, the financial aid is focused on the recovery and rehabilitation works in the most typhoonaffected areas in northern Luzon.

On behalf of Manila, Banayo expressed his gratitude to Taiwan's assistance.

TECO, for its part, expressed readiness to help whenever natural calamities affect the Philippines.

As of Oct. 6, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least 3,029,062 million people were reported to have been affected by Typhoon Ompong, of which, a total of 14,752 individuals are still being served inside and outside evacuation centers.

In a statement, TECO said the assistance signifies Taiwan's continuous commitment to engage with the Filipino people, in line with the New Southbound Policy of President Tsai Ingwen.

Peopletopeople ties

Taiwan's New Southbound Policy is focused on building peopletopeople connectivity, and to achieve this, Hsu said Taipei will also continue implementing its visafree policy for Filipinos.

Meanwhile, the diplomat is hopeful for a visafree reciprocation in Manila, at least for diplomatic passport holders and Taiwanese businessmen seeking to invest in the country.

Hsu recognize that for MECO, visa fee is a "very important revenue" to continue their operation in Taiwan, where more than a hundred thousand Filipinos work and reside.

"I understand the difficulty, but we still hope that on the basis of reciprocity, we can see progress," he told reporters. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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