Warm greetings to everyone gathered here today. Hon. He Yiang Kii, Ms. Yuan Fong, to my colleagues in the DSWD- Usec. Mateo Montano, Usec. Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa, Dir. Felino Castro, good afternoon to all.

Today is a happy day for international solidarity as we are witness to the ceremonial turnover of cash donation from the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of the Philippines.

November 19 2016, super typhoon Haima locally known as Lawin, with an intensity number 5 struck the northern part of Luzon. This has caused widespread suffering and has left many individuals and families homeless. Even before this, we were still in the stage of recovering from typhoon Meranti (Ferdie).  Though our people developed a character of resilience as according to PAGASA we receive at least 20 tropical cyclones every year, but the economic impact and human cost that these calamities bring is always tragic.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the Philippine government’s main welfare agency that is tasked to initiate timely and adequate service to emergency situations faced by Filipinos. Through early warning, tight coordination of the different government agencies tasked on responding to emergency situations, efficient management of resources, and an iron will to serve the people, we were able to provide prompt and compassionate service which is the current thrust of the DSWD under President Duterte.

As we continue to assess the damage brought by the typhoon, further assistance is needed for the recovery and rehabilitation of calamity-affected communities in the provinces and regions. Every help we can get locally and internationally is welcome as long as no conditions are attached and based on what we need. For this I would like to thank the Chinese people and its government for being responsive to the Filipino people’s needs especially in times of crisis. This solidarity reflects the type of development China pursues.  I am confident that both the Philippines and China share the same ideals for each’s people, and for humanity. On this I would like to quote People’s Republic of China’s Premier Li Keqiang.

“The growth that we want is one that brings real benefits to the people, raises quality and efficiency of development, and contributes to energy conservation and environmental protection.”

From 2006 to 2016, the People’s Republic of China’s cash donation for calamity-affected communities in the Philippines amounts to Php 67,959,000. Aside from this, we have also receive in-kind donations from China amounting to PhP 88,660,958.45. These consist of motor vehicles, housing materials, generators and various relief items. Now we will witness the ceremonial turnover of cash donation amounting to PhP 35,000,000.

These donations will go a long way in serving the people which is one of the main concerns of President Duterte. In fact, the famous phrase that our president now espouses-Gikan sa masa, para sa masa is derived from China’s revolutionary hero, Mao Zedong’s “from the masses, to the masses.”

As a young activist a few decades ago, we read Mao Zedong’s writings on serving the people. His writings have influenced us up till now on serving the people. From his Selected Works, and I quote, “Our point of departure is to serve the people whole-heartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people and not from one’s self-interest or from the interests of a small group.”

Basically the reason why I tell you this is to stress that the Chinese and Philippine government share the common goal to serve the people.

On behalf of the Filipino people, I would like to thank all the organizations, individuals, and institutions that have donated funds for the recovery and rehabilitation of our calamity-affected communities, and they are the following: Chinese Filipino Business Cub Inc, Filipino-Chinese Community thru Federation of Fil-Chinese Chamber of Community, Phil. Chinese Association and the Filipino Community in New York City, Ministry of Commerce of the PRC, Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the country of the People’s Republic of China, and of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

Long live international solidarity!

Long live the People of China!

Long live the Filipino People!

Mabuhay kayong lahat. Salamat!