Royal Thai Army Donates P1.23M For Typhoon Relief

MANILA, Philippines --- The Royal Thai Army has donated $30,000 (roughly P1.23 million) to the Philippine government to support its relief and recovery operations in Mindanao following the devastation caused by typhoon "Pablo" earlier this month.

This developed as the typhoon death toll rose to 1,050 while the estimated damage to properties increased to P34.40 billion, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said yesterday. Of the 1,050 dead, 694 have been identified. Some 838 remained missing while 2,662 were injured.

General Prayut Chan-o-cha, head of Thailand's Royal Army, personally handed over the donation to Colonel Manuel Sanchez Gonzales, the Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché, in simple ceremonies held recently at the Royal Thai Army Headquarters in Bangkok.

"The Republic of the Philippines has recently experienced a massive destruction caused by Typhoon 'Bopha' (Pablo)," The Royal Thai Army said in a prepared statement. "The loss and destruction caused by this natural calamity is unimaginable. General Prayut... has expressed his concern and willingness to assist the Philippine Army in its effort to help and support the recovery mission."

Last week, General Prayut led a delegation of Royal Thai Army officials in a visit to the Philippines to pay a courtesy call on his counterpart and to find out how Thailand can help victims of "Pablo."

Meanwhile, representatives of Marubeni Corporation, one of Japan's largest general trading companies, conveyed their pledge to donate a total amount of Y10 million (approximately P5 million) for the victims of the typhoon.

Former Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Makoto Katsura, in his capacity as Corporate Advisor to Marubeni Corporation, made the pledge during a recent courtesy call on called on Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez.

Katsura also expressed his company's sympathy for the tragic loss that occurred in southern Philippines.

Ambassador Katsura said that Marubeni is donating Y5 million (approximately P2.5 million) through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), while another Y5 million will be donated through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo.

Napolcom Donates

Recognizing that even the men and women in uniform bore the brunt of the typhoon, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) said it has donated over P100,000 to members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Mindanao affected by the storm.

Napolcom, which exercises administrative and supervisory control over the PNP, on Thursday issued a cheque in the amount of P108,680 as donation to the police officers in the areas of calamity.

Napolcom Vice Chairman and Executive Officer Eduardo Escueta said that Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II suggested that the donation should specifically benefit the affected police officers to also show that the Commission is always looking after the welfare of the members of the PNP.

Roxas, who is concurrently the chairman of Napolcom, had earlier enjoined all DILG offices and attached agencies to have a simple observance of Christmas and donate the funds intended for their Christmas parties to the victims of the calamity in Mindanao.

The Commission itself cancelled its Christmas Party scheduled on Thursday and instead held a thanksgiving mass. The simple occasion was attended by Commissioners Luisito Palmera, Alejandro Urro, Constancia De Guzman and newly installed PNP Chief Police Deputy Director General Alan Purisima.

The NDRRMC said the recent deaths were from Monkayo, Compostela Valley, one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon.

The leading causes of death were severe injuries due to fallen trees, (61 percent); drowning (18 percent); and multiple injuries stemming from trauma (8 percent).

The NDRRMC also reported that "Pablo" has affected 711,682 families or 6,243,998 persons from 3,064 villages, 318 towns, 40 cities in 34 provinces.

A total of 2,481 families or 11,688 people continued to stay in 43 evacuation centers.

Damage to properties were broken down as P7,833,386,310 in infrastructure, P26,526,663,474.07 in agriculture and P49,361,413 in private properties.

Nine bridges and one road remained impassable while 29 areas continued to experience power interruption while six remained to have water disruptions. (With reports from PNA and Ellson A. Quismorio)