DFA chief thanks international community’s help after Ompong destruction

DFA Sec. Alan Peter S. Cayetano

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recently conveyed the Philippine government’s appreciation and gratitude to the support and assistance offered by the international community to victims of Typhoon Ompong.

“In the spirit of true bayanihan in times of crisis, and as proof of our being a ‘friend to all, enemy to none,’ we are heartened by the expression of support we have received from the international community,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said.

The DFA secretary said Australia, France, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States were among those that have offered humanitarian assistance for those affected by Ompong, which left a trail of destruction when it swept through Northern Luzon last weekend.

International organizations like the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center), the European Union and United Nations agencies such as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Children’s Fund, and the World Food Programme have also expressed their willingness to provide assistance to typhoon victims.

“On behalf of those who were affected by Typhoon Ompong, we express our gratitude for this support, and we will make sure that the Filipino resilience and ability to bounce back after a crisis will shine through,” Cayetano stated.

Aside from immediate humanitarian assistance, he added, the Philippines has also received offers for post-disaster rehabilitation of affected agricultural areas.

As the lead agency for the Philippine International Humanitarian Cluster, the DFA has also activated the Philippine Humanitarian Assistance Registry, where details of offers of assistance shall be recorded, as well as the needed resources for disaster operations from the different response clusters headed by various government agencies.

The DFA also said it will continue to extend P5,000 in cash assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) whose flights were canceled.

According to DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola, a total of P680,000 was distributed to 136 OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the Clark International Airport from Saturday to Monday.

Affected inbound and outbound OFWs can personally claim the cash assistance at the DFA’s Office of Migrant Workers Affairs at the DFA Main Office in Pasay City and in DFA consular offices nationwide from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until September 28.

To claim the cash assistance, affected OFWs must submit their passport, airline tickets showing their original date of departure; reissued ticket showing new date of departure; employment contract; and overseas employment certificate. (BusinessMirror)