TECO donates $100,000 to typhoon-stricken Sorsogon
MANILA, Philippines – The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) in Manila has donated $100,000 (around P5 million) worth of cash to the provincial government of Sorsogon, after it was struck by Typhoon Tisoy last December 2019.
TECO Ambassador Michael Peiyung Hsu said on Friday that they chose to help Sorsogon because of its friendship with the province and its current governor, former senator Francis Escudero.
“I know that reconstruction and work is underway, we do hope to see the people there in Sorsogon province get back to their normal life pretty soon, under the leadership of Governor Escudero,” Hsu told reporters during a handover ceremony in TECO’s office in Makati.
“Governor Escudero has been a long-time friend of Taiwan, even when he was the senator, you know, he always tried to extend a helping hand to Taiwan, and so we do think he is a true friend of Taiwan,” he added. “So when there is a need in the province of Sorsogon, we are glad to offer our help to return the friendship.”
Escudero, who personally received the donation at the TECO office in Manila, thanked the Taiwanese officials, saying the money would be a big boost to rebuilding industries in Sorsogon torn after Tisoy ravaged through the province.
“We would like to thank first of all the people of Taiwan, similarly President Tsai (Ing-wen) for their help and assistance to the people of Sorsogon given the onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy,” Escudero said.
“Our relationship, my personal relationship with the Ambassador, similarly with the people of Taiwan had been long-standing, and we appreciate that,” he added.
According to the governor, most roads in Sorsogon have been cleared and now passable, with 95 percent of electricity service already restored — which means that the fund from TECO would be used to finance cash-for-work schemes.
“We will be using it for food-for-work and cash-for-work principally. We found that it really works in the province, instead of promoting a culture of mendicancy by simply asking for relief or help, we use it in exchange for labor or work, helping their neighbors rebuild their home or cleaning up their barangay,” he said
“We are in the process of rebuilding mostly destroyed homes, our infrastructure, none of them were destroyed. We made sure all of our projects were implemented properly and correctly, so none of our bridges were destroyed, none of our roads were damaged,” Escudero noted.
Tisoy battered the coast of Sorsogon and its neighbors in the Bicol region as it moved from the Pacific Ocean, with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 240 kph as it made a landfall in Sorsogon.
Escudero previously said that Tisoy left at least P2.6 billion worth of damage in their province, with more than 60,000 families displaced.
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