Taipei, Jan. 26 (CNA) Taiwan has raised close to 100 metric tons of food and supplies to help the Philippines recover from the destructive Super Typhoon Rai that hit the country last month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Wednesday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) said at a turnover ceremony held in Taipei that after receiving a request by the Philippine government, around 100 metric tons of building materials and rice grains were prepared, according to a statement released by MOFA.
Tien added that the aid would soon be delivered to the Southeast Asian country by sea transport.
MOFA coordinated with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Council of Agriculture under the Executive Yuan to raise building materials, such as corrugated steel sheets, plywood, tarpaulin, iron wires, nails, and tools (including hammers and saws), as well as goods including rice, dry food, and bottled water.
At the ceremony, Tien expressed his sincere concern and care to those impacted by the typhoon and pointed out that the relationship between Taiwan and the Philippines is a true friendship in adversity.
Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Chairman and Resident Representative Wilfredo B. Fernandez said that after the shipment arrived, the Philippine government would properly distribute the materials so that Taiwan's kindness could be delivered into the hands of the disaster victims.
Fernandez expressed his sincere gratitude to the people of Taiwan for the continuing love and concern for those devastated by Super Typhoon Rai, the MECO told CNA.
According to Philippine government sources, the natural disaster has caused close to US$600 million in infrastructure damage and agricultural losses, while another 1.37 million homes were damaged, affecting millions of residents.
Although the Philippine government has mobilized a lot of manpower and material resources, due to the severe disaster and the large affected area, there is still a shortage of water and food one month after the typhoon, MOFA said.
Super Typhoon Rai first made landfall in the Philippines on Dec. 16 with the country reporting 375 deaths caused by floods and landslides brought by the typhoon as of Dec. 21.
The latest donations come after a donation of US$500,000 on Dec. 22 to the Philippines when Taiwan found out about the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Rai.
A delivery of 10 metric tons of emergency supplies over the Christmas weekend was made by two military C-130 aircraft that departed from southern Pingtung Air Base and arrived at Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26.
The emergency supplies included food rations, cookies, instant noodles, bottled water, canned food, and portable water filters, according to MOFA.
There are 141,808 Filipino migrant workers in Taiwan employed in social welfare and the production sector, according to Ministry of Labor statistics valid as of the end of December.