As the Philippines’ nearest neighbor and true friend, the government of Taiwan through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines extended help to the victims of a Boracay fire in June.
Spearheaded by Taiwanese tourists and businessmen who frequent the island, the group was able to collect 500 tons of various relief goods from Taiwan. The supplies comprise of food, clothes, powdered milk and other basic living necessities.
The donation was distributed to affected families through the Municipality of Malay on June 25. According to Taiwanese Ru Lin, who initiated the relief collection, the donation was made through the Internet, which received an enthusiastic response from his countrymen. In only four days, relief supplies reached the target of 500 kilos and were immediately delivered to Boracay through the assistance of major air transportation carriers.
Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, representative of TECO in the Philippines, in his letters to Aklan Provincial Governor Florencio Miraflores, and Malay Municipal Mayor John Yap, mentioned that the relief supplies collected by the Taiwanese community reflect the genuine friendship between the two countries.
Moreover, Lin believes that as Filipinos are resilient, optimistic, sturdy and hardworking, the affected families will soon return to their normal lives.
Taiwan and the Philippines share many commonalities, which make the two countries very close to each other. In recent years, Taiwan has already proven that its people are willing to help and work side by side in partnership with the Philippines especially during the difficult times.
In 2013, when the Philippines was affected by the Typhoon Yolanda, Taiwan collectively donated $12.22 million in cash, while its military transport airplanes flew more than 18 flights to disaster areas to bring in more than thousands of tons of relief supplies to help victims.
Moreover, Taiwan’s NGOs including Tzu Chi Foundation have made tremendous efforts to build houses, accommodations, and shelters for the needy. Work-for-cash projects and donations of rice, food and clothing have also been frequently made by the Taiwanese NGOs and the Taiwanese community in the Philippines.