BY VINCE JACOB VISAYA
CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela (November 24)—The Taiwanese government through the Manila Economic and Culture Office (MECO) donated $400,000 or about P22.9 million to the provincial governments of Isabela and Cagayan for the rehabilitation of infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm “Paeng.”
MECO chairman and resident representative Silvestre Bello 3rd, Taiwan representative to the Philippines Eric Lim and Obyashi Oshimune turned over a check worth $200,000 each to Isabela Gov. Rodolfo Albano 3rd and Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba recently at the Balai compound in Isabela.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office representative Peiyung Hsu earlier turned over the checks to MECO through Bello.
Bello said the MECO has been “working closely with the Taiwanese government on agriculture, education and tourism, and enhances bilateral cooperation and partnership which is expected to improve the welfare of people in both Taiwan and the Philippines.”
Mamba said Taiwan has been consistent as a neighbor in giving assistance during disasters.
“We are grateful for their help as we have been helpless during typhoons,” Mamba said, noting that three other typhoons pummeled the province prior to Paeng.
Albano, on his part, said he is thankful to Taiwan and MECO representatives for the assistance.
Nationwide, about 53,000 houses were damaged while P6 billion in agricultural crops were ruined due to Paeng. About 159 people died and 30 were missing after the onslaught of the tropical storm.