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Quake victims get aid

International donors contributed at least P19.3 million ($450,000.00) to communities ravaged by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Bohol, Cebu and parts of Central Visayas, Malacaang said on Saturday. Deputy Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said Korea kicked in $300,000 for rescue and relief efforts ion Bohol and Cebu provinces. The donation was received by President Benigno Aquino III during his official visit and meeting with South Korea President Park Geun-hye last Thursday. Damang-dama natin yung kagustuhan nilang pagtulong sa ating bansa, Mr. Aquino said in a recent coffee meeting in Korea with the members of the Philippine media. Mr.Park expressed his commitment to extend assistance for the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City for civilians who were displaced by the recent clashes between the Philippine government forces and Moro National Liberation Front led by Nur Misuari. Over the week, the United States and Taiwan also donated a total of $150,000 for victims of the earthquake. the U.S. embassy in Manila and the U.S. Agency for International Development allocated $50,000 or roughly P2.150-million for non-food relief items. We are very concerned about the tragic loss of life and suffering caused by the Bohol earthquake, the embassy stated. The assistance USAID can offer will be a good first step in mitigating that suffering, U.S. embassy Charge dAffairs Brian Goldbeck said in a statement. USAIDs Visayas Health Project has also donated 6,000 units of hygiene kits to earthquake victims in Bohol. Through the World Food Programme, USAID has also been providing logistical assistance to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in some of the affected areas. The embassy said that so far, the American government has deployed at least two U.S military water purification units to Tagbilaran and will be operated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) engineers to produce fresh drinking water for the victims. Taiwan donated $100,000 (P4.3-million) to support the post-disaster relief efforts and rehabilitation in the affected areas. As the true neighbor to the Philippines, Taiwan is one of the first countries to pledge humanitarian support in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes devastation, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines said in a statement. Taiwan stressed that its country is always one of the first countries to extend assistance to the Philippines citing the geographical proximity between both countries. Taiwan, always one of the first countries to extend assistance, has been a key partner of the Philippines in providing immediate humanitarian response during natural calamities,(sic) TECO stated. Also on Saturday, Singapore and Japan expressed sympathy to the Philippines over the devastation in Bohol and Cebu. Japanese ambassador Toshinao Urabe wrote a letter to Mr. Aquino expressing heartfelt condolences and solidarities of the government and people of Japan and government and people of the Philippines.
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