US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. said the disaster is of “sufficient magnitude” to warrant a response from the US government.
“USAID/OFDA [The US Agency for International Development-Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance], working with USAID/Philippines, and the US Embassy canvassed relief organizations operating in the area, and determined that the increasing number of displaced families seeking safe refuge from various evacuation centers and vulnerable families needing emergency assistance warranted an offer of assistance from the US government,” Thomas said.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who are affected by the floods, those who have lost loved ones, and important possessions. I want Filipinos to know that the United States stands by them in times of need,” he added.
A news release from the US Embassy in Manila quoted USAID Philippines Mission Director Gloria Steele as saying the aid will include $50,000 for emergency non-food assistance and $500,000 for warehousing and logistics support (about P23,650,000 in total) from USAID/OFDA.
This will be channeled “through a humanitarian agency working in the Philippines to facilitate the immediate delivery of non-food relief items, potentially including jerry cans, household kits, and tarps, to flood-affected communities,” Steele said.
Heavy rain from the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Maring pummeled several parts of Luzon.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least eight had been killed in the wake of the rain and floods.
Thomas admires Pinoys’ spirit
Meanwhile, Thomas said the US Embassy relays its admiration for the Filipinos’ spirit, saying they face their problems with “good cheer” and help to victims.
“Admiration from US Embassy Manila for the indefatigable Filipino people, who are facing adversity with good cheer and help to flood victims,” he said. — BM, GMA News