MANILA, Philippines – Two months after Typhoon Ferdie (Meranti) made landfall in Batanes, its close neighbor Taiwan donated P1 million ($20,060) to this Philippine province of around 16,600 people.
Dr Gary Song-Huann Lin, Taiwan’s representative in the Philippines, also gave boxes of instant noodles to Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco on Wednesday, November 23.
Lin cited the "warm welcome" received by Taiwanese fishermen from Batanes locals when Taiwanese fishing vessels arrive to replenish their supplies during the fishing season from March to June.
"This shows that Taiwanese and Filipinos enjoy a long-standing friendship. Therefore, when Batanes needs assistance due to the wrecking of a typhoon, Taiwan of course will extend a helping hand through caring disaster relief efforts without any hesitation," the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines said in a statement.
Lin also noted that Batanes "is actually the nearest Philippine province to Taiwan."
Based on estimates by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Ferdie damaged government facilities worth up to to P244.99 million ($4.9 million) in Batanes.
Ferdie also damaged around 2,241 houses, the NDRRMC said.
Up to 407 of these houses had been destroyed.
The effects of Ferdie prompted the provincial board to place Batanes under a state of calamity on September 15. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P49.86
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.