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Mayon-affected families to receive rice, food donations from People’s Republic of China

Rex Gatchalian

Families affected by the Mayon volcano restiveness will be receiving rice and other food donations from the government of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).

On Thursday (June 15), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian personally received the first batch of rice and food donations from Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian and Political Commissar of Dalian Naval Academy, Rear Admiral Su Yinsheng.

“On behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, we would like to thank you for the generosity,” Secretary Gatchalian said in his message.

The DSWD chief assured PRC officials that the donated rice will reach the intended beneficiaries, specifically, the Mayon-affected families in the different evacuation centers in Albay Province.

Food donations from China

According to the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO), a total of 4,286 families, or 15,241 people, have been forcibly evacuated since the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised Alert Level 3 due to the heightened unrest of Mayon.

The affected families are now staying in evacuation centers that include 14 public schools, 10 local government-owned evacuation centers, and other buildings converted into temporary shelters in the cities of Ligao and Tabaco, and the towns of Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga.

The first batch of food donations composed of 502 bags of 25-kilogram rice and 100 bags of 12-kilogram rice was shipped through the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Training Vessel Qi Jiguang, which is currently berthed at Pier 15 in South Harbor, Manila.

Included in the shipment were 20 boxes of fast noodles, 20 boxes of biscuits and 50 boxes of flour, according to PRC authorities.

Food donations from China

Another 3,600 bags of 25-kilogram rice will be donated by the PRC government. This will complete the 4,202 bags or 103,750 kilograms of rice donations and other food items worth Php 4 million.

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China also provided an additional Php 1 million cheque for the families affected by Typhoon Betty (Mawar), which caused strong winds and heavy rains in the northeastern part of the country last May.

Last June 12, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government donated around 50,000 kilograms (50 metric tons) of food items such as rice, cooking oil, powdered milk, salt and sugar for the Mayon-affected families and individuals.

On Tuesday (June 13) afternoon, UAE donation of 50,000 kilograms of food items arrived in Albay province on board DSWD trucks and were immediately turned over by the DSWD Field Office V to the Albay provincial government for repacking and immediate distribution.

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