Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, Representative of Taiwan (ROC), accompanied by a delegation of clean energy technology Assessment Mission, on behalf of the ROC (Taiwan) Government, donated P1 million and one batch of instant noodles to Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco at the Batanes Government Square in Basco on Nov. 23.
About 200 people, including Batanes Representatives, government officials, judges, the media, fishery representatives, and tribe chiefs attended the amicable donation ceremony.
Lin emphasized “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” He pointed out the geographic proximity and close bond between Taiwan and the Philippines by stressing that, Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines, is actually the nearest Philippine province to Taiwan.
Lin said Batanes residents, on a clear day, can even see Kaohsiung, the southernmost city of Taiwan.
In fact, an urban legend states that one can hear a rooster crows from the southernmost tip of Taiwan in the morning in Batanes. In addition, people in Batanes can even listen to the radio programs from Taiwan. For a Taiwanese, it truly feels like being home when staying in Batanes.
Representative Lin further stated that Taiwan fishing vessels often arrive at Batanes for necessary supplies from March to June during the fishing season yearly. They receive warm welcome from the locals. This shows that Taiwanese and Filipinos enjoy longstanding friendship. Therefore, when Batanes needs assistance due to the wrecking of typhoon, Taiwan of course will extend a helping hand through caring disaster relief efforts without any hesitation.
Taiwan’s immediate relief action toward Batanes is also to reflect the ROC (Taiwan)’s recent launched “New Southbound Policy,” in which Taiwan attaches significant importance to the Philippines, seen as the gateway to ASEAN countries, and endeavors to promote people to people interactions and mutual understandings between the two countries.
Representative Lin went on to point out that Batanes suffered a heavy loss by September typhoon Meranti, which caused severe damage in housing and infrastructure. However, Batanes is not alone. Taiwan, as a genuine friend and close neighbor of the Philippines, is quick to respond by expressing sympathy to the victims and providing 1 million pesos for the relief work.
Taiwan wishes the best for the victims and hopes that they can return to their normal lives soon, and that the reconstruction may be carried out smoothly to regain its charm in no time.
In return, Batanes Governor Cayco, on behalf of Batanes government and its people, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the generous donation from the ROC (Taiwan) government, as Batanes urgently needs the monetary assistance for the after typhoon reconstruction.
Taiwan’s timely donation is a testimony of solid and robust Taiwan-Philippine relationship that has been growing stronger in the past years.