His Excellency Ambassador Zhao Jianhua handed over P7.7 million to the Provincial Government of Pampanga on December 5 to help the latter lift local farmers and their families out of the difficulties resulted from a severe outbreak of avian flu. Former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda attended the handover ceremony.
In his remarks, Ambassador Zhao said that as a country affected by the avian flu for quite a few times in the past, China, in a deeply sympathizing way, felt for Filipino friends in Pampanga.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed. We sincerely hope that this humble share of assistance would add strength to the endeavor by Pampanga government and people in recovering from their losses in an effective and productive manner.” Ambassador Zhao said.
Ambassador Zhao also mentioned that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to the Philippines recently, which was the first of its kind by a Chinese Premier in a decade. During the visit, the two sides inked 14 cooperation agreements on infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, finance and so on, which are well poised to bring forth more tangible benefits to our two peoples.
The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines stands ready to strengthen cooperation with Pampanga, and work with the Philippine side to further advance China-Philippines relations.
Arroyo expressed heartfelt appreciation to the kindness and generosity on the Chinese side for rendering a helping hand to Pampanga in a difficult time. On behalf of Pampanga Province, Pineda also said she was grateful for the valuable donation from the Chinese Embassy, which will effectively enable the Pampanga Government to enhance its capacity in monitoring, prevention and containment of the avian flu in the future.
In August 2017, a severe avian flu broke out in Pampanga. At least 38,000 heads of poultry died from the disease, and 400,000 heads were culled in the affected areas to curb the outbreak. The provincial government also once came to the point declaring Pampanga under a state of calamity.