Foreign embassies vow help for PH disaster relief efforts

At least two foreign embassies on Wednesday have offered help in PH's disaster relief efforts for flood victims of the monsoon.

The United States Embassy intends provide $100,000 (P4.3 million) this week to augment state funds for rescue and rehabilitation, a statement showed.

In a separate statement, the European Union Delegation to the Philippines is meanwhile eyeing assistance for flood-affected areas.

"On behalf of the US government and the American people, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to those who are displaced and who have lost homes and livelihoods due to the floods." Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr. said statement.

He added that the US Agency for International Development will also conduct an initial damage assessment in Metro Manila and other provinces determine the extent of damage caused by flooding and determine immediate needs of communities.

"[T]he United States will work with the Philippine government to determine where our assistance is most needed. We remain committed to helping the Philippine people overcome this difficult time," Thomas said.

For his part, Lubomir Frebort, Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, said the Western bloc "extends its deep sympathy to more than 800,000 people affected by the heavy downpour in three regions."

Meanwhile, the Budget department said on Tuesday that P5.95 billion in state calamity funds remain available for disaster response and rehabilitation.

This amount is apart from the P2.989 billion in Quick Response Funds (QRF) released to national government agencies earlier this year, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement.

Of the total, the Agriculture department received P550 million; Education department, P550 million; Health department, P170.2 million; Defense department, P882.5 million; Public Works department, P662.5 million; and Social Work department, P662.5 million.

"These funds are readily available to enable national government agencies to immediately respond to the needs of localities and citizens affected by calamities," Abad said.

He added that the government is ready to augment these funds. "We have enough savings that can be realigned to support disaster response and rehabilitation activities," Abad said.

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