The Taiwan Association Philippines Inc., through its president David Shih handed over a check donation of P1 million to Manuel Siao of the Tzu Chi Foundation-Philippines on December 10, to aid the post-Yolanda relief operations currently being implemented by the Taiwanese Buddhist charity organization.
Also present to witness the donation was Ambassador Raymond Wang of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines, who highlighted Taiwan government’s continuous efforts in extending timely assistance to the Philippines in times of devastation.
Founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in Taiwan, the Tzu Chi Foundation successfully branched out to the Philippines in 1994 to actively provide humanitarian assistance where it is needed in the country.
Just recently, the organization was once more lauded for its significant contributions to the rehabilitation missions in areas destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda in its wake. Besides the big-scale medical missions and relief goods distribution they conducted, the organization also provided cash assistance to hundreds of affected families, and donated nine makeshift classrooms and three units of water purifiers to provinces that lack clean drinking water.
The Tzu Chi Foundation is also the first to implement the “cash-for-work” program, where the typhoon-affected residents are assigned to clean their respective areas in exchange of P500 at the end of the work day.
From the onset of its implementation on November 20 until the present, the cash-for-work program has covered more than 60 barangays in Visayas. Not only has it effectively addressed the problems of dirt and garbage, the cash-for-work program also enabled the grief-stricken residents to come together and help rebuild their community while also receiving much-needed financial assistance.
Recognizing the heartfelt dedication of Tzu Chi Foundation in its desire to bring Visayas back to its feet, the Taiwan Association said their donation will be much better utilized through Tzu Chi and its volunteers. The volunteers of Tzu Chi expressed their gratitude in return and promised to continuously carry out its goal to alleviate the sufferings of the victims.
Wang took the opportunity during the turn over ceremony to reassure that TECO would continue to do its best to assist the local Taiwanese organizations that are engaged in the post-disaster relief efforts. To date, TECO has successfully coordinated with Philippine local government units regarding the airlifting of more than 150 metric tons of aid supplies in a series of 18 flights by Taiwan air force C-130 Hercules cargo planes from November 12 to 21 as well as the transport of 530 metric tons of relief goods to Cebu Port through the Taiwan naval vessel.
Besides this, the leaders also further discussed feasible joint long-term rehabilitation programs in Typhoon Yolanda-stricken areas in which the local Taiwanese communities can take part.
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