UAE donates 50 tons of food items, medicine for Mayon victims

2023 June 10

UAE DONATION. Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian grants media interview after receiving donation from the United Arab Emirates at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Monday (June 12, 2023). The UAE donated 50 tons of assorted food items and medicine for evacuees amid Mayon Volcano unrest. 

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MANILA – Some 50 tons of assorted food items donated by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrived early Monday on board an Etihad Airways plane at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said the shipment is intended for the most affected residents of Albay due to the heightened unrest of the Mayon Volcano.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, along with Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos, Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista and DSWD Undersecretary Dianne Cajipe, received the UAE donation.

“We thank the UAE government and the Royal family for their generosity in sending the much-needed humanitarian aid for those affected by Mayon’s volcanic activities,” he said.

Gatchalian said His Excellency Mohamed Obaid Salem Alqataam Alzaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Philippines, requested the sending of humanitarian aid from his government amid the forced evacuations in Albay province due to the possible eruption of Mount Mayon.

Heeding the request, the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, immediately ordered the shipment of the humanitarian aid to the Philippines within 24 hours, he said.

“The UAE’s interior minister (Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan), who is a personal friend of DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos, also helped in the swift arrival of the humanitarian aid,” he added.

Upon confirmation of the date and time of arrival of the UAE government’s humanitarian aid, Ambassador Alzaabi reached out to the DILG secretary, who alerted Gatchalian for the acceptance of the donation.

The UAE’s humanitarian aid supports the Philippine government’s efforts in disaster preparedness and response. The humanitarian flight contains up to 50 tons of food and medicine, according to the DSWD chief.

“Ang role ng DSWD, in 24 hours naman ay maipadala sa Mayon ang mga goods na ito… Sa Miyerkules ng umaga nasa kamay na ito ng mga kababayan natin na biktima ng Mayon (The role of DSWD, these goods must be sent out in 24 hours. On Wednesday morning, these should be in the hands of the Mayon victims),” Gatchalian told reporters at the NAIA Terminal 2.

Gatchalian said an additional 38,000 family food packs (FFPs) were turned over Sunday to the DSWD Bicol regional office which would be good for 15 days.

Nag-utos ang Pangulo kahapon (June 11), nag-usap kami noong umaga, na puwede ring pumasok sa financial assistance [ang DSWD]. Ide-determine pa namin ng provincial government [of Albay] kung magkano (the President ordered yesterday, we discussed in the morning that the DSWD can come in with financial assistance. We will determine the amount with the provincial government [of Albay]),” Gatchalian said.

Zaldy De Layola (PNA)