While on a visit to Tacloban, visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that his country would donate an additional $24.6 million in aid to the Philippines for the recovery and rehabilitation of the areas in central Visayas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
While we can expect the extreme Left to again look this gift horse in the mouth—they brazenly accused the United States which was the first nation to deliver aid to the Philippines immediately after the typhoon struck of imperialism or some such nonsense—the simple fact of the matter is that American assistance came during the most desperate moments.
The US sent warships to the devastated areas bringing food, water and medicine when the national government had yet to put its act together.
And while the rest of the world donated huge sums to the country, it was still the US that provided the greatest aid.
The $24.6 million additional aid announced by Kerry is no small sum.
Sometimes, we have to express our surprise at how easily a member of the US President’s Cabinet can dole out heady sums with nothing more than a public announcement and presumably a sign of the pen.
Certainly Mr. Kerry would not have announced the fresh aid without the approval of US President Barack Obama. Still, we are pleasantly surprised at the speed with which the megasum could be released.
The US has again proven that it is the Philippines’ biggest ally.
It is worth noting that in the past few decades, China has been attempting to assume the role of Big Brother to its neighbors, the Philippines included.
But China has shown that it is not beyond using or denying aid to “punish” its little brothers. Because the Philippines and China have had differences over a few islands in the West Philippine Sea, China decided to extend a mere $1 million in assistance to the country immediately after Yolanda hit.
This is not to say that the value of the assistance extended to Yolanda survivors is dependent on dollars and cents. It’s not. But as one of the world’s biggest economies, China blew the golden opportunity to show the world how magnanimous it can be to its little neighbors with whom it has had differences.
Not the good, old US of A.
Kerry’s announcement served to reinforce what most of us already know. The US is a dependable ally of the Philippines, come what may.
While we would like to believe that the country is no longer Uncle Sam’s “little brown brother,” there is no denying the ties that bind us to the world’s last superpower.
While the Philippines could conceivably become a powerful economy sometime in the near (or far) future, our country can never hope to be a military superpower.
The actions of the US vis-à-vis China during the Philippines’ darkest hour mere weeks ago tells us which side we should continue to lean on.
The US remains our top ally. Mr. Kerry merely reminded us why with his announcement in Tacloban yesterday.