Myanmar President Thein Sein yesterday visited Bantayan island to see for himself the extent of devastation that supertyphoon Yolanda left to the northern Cebu town.
Thein Sein arrived in Cebu onboard the presidential helicopter of the Philippine Air Force and was met at the tarmac of the Benito Ebuen Airbase in Mactan island by Gov. Hilario Davide III.
Thein Sein is in the country for a three-day state visit. He arrived in Manila on Thursday where he was given arrival honors at the Malacañang grounds before meeting with President Aquino. The two heads of states also witnesses the signing of six bilateral agreements, including an agreement granting nonvisa entry for up to 14 days to Filipinos holding ordinary passports.
The Myanmar president was accompanied to Cebu by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
Thein Sein on Thursday also presided over the ceremonial turnover of $100,000 in financial aid, on top of seven tons of relief goods, for victims of supertyphoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas.
Myanmar is also donating an additional $50,000 for earthquake victims in Central Visayas.
“Like your country, Burma has also suffered a great deal when a serious cyclone struck our country in 2008,” he said during his joint press briefing with President Aquino in Malacañang.
Thein Sein visited Cebu to “show solidarity and support to the people of the Philippines.”
From Mactan airbase, Thein Sein together with Davide and other provincial officials went to the towns of Santa Fe, Madridejos, and Bantayan where he told local officials of Myanmar’s own tragedy with a storm surge from a strong typhoon in 2008 which killed 130,000 and affected 2.5 million people.
He said he is confident that the Filipinos would recover faster than they did. “I know the Filipino people can easily recover in short time because of their resilience and courage amidst the calamity,” he added.
The Burmese government gave medicines, blankets and other relief goods for the typhoon victims in the three towns in Bantayan Island. The goods arrived in the morning at the Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan and was turned over to Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale.
Medical teams will be deployed as well, he said, and more relief goods are expected to arrive from Yangon, the capital city of Myanmar.
Davide thanked Sein for the visit and the help. The three island town-mayors also gave brief speeches thanking Myanmar.