China donates P7.5 million for rehab of Taal-affected areas

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
China donates P7.5 million for rehab of Taal-affected areas
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian on Wednesday turned over the donation to Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo during a ceremony at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — China has donated P7.5 million in relief assistance and for rehabilitation of areas affected by Taal Volcano’s continuing activity.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian on Wednesday turned over the donation to Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo during a ceremony at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Huang said the Chinese government is looking forward to lending more strength to the disaster and relief efforts of the Philippines for the victims.

As this developed, the Japanese government announced that it would provide anti-dust respirators and other assistance in-kind through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

“As a volcanic country like the Philippines, Japan has experienced hardship caused by volcanic activities. We are in solidarity with the people of the Philippines in facing this challenge,” the embassy said in a statement. 

Japan said it is providing emergency relief to the Philippines for humanitarian reasons and in light of the friendship between the two contries.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced in June that he ordered all embassies in Europe to make sure that all donations to non-government organizations in the Philippines are cleared with the government.

This came after the government claimed that donations from the European Union go to local organizations that are allegedly fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

Classes resume

Classes in municipalities and cities outside the lockdown areas resumed yesterday, according to Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas. 

“After a careful and thorough consideration of the present situation due to the eruption of the Taal Volcano and with clearance from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, this is to declare that classes will resume for all students under the Commission on Higher Education starting tomorrow in all schools outside the 14-kilometer radius,” Mandanas said in a memorandum issued on Tuesday.

Classes in elementary and secondary level remain suspended for the entire Batangas while classes in all levels inside lockdown areas remain suspended. 

Areas within the 14-km danger zone include the municipalities of Agoncillo, Balete, Cuenca, Laurel, Lemery, Mataasnakahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Talisay and portions of Lipa City and Tanauan City.

Areas outside the 14-km danger zone are Alitagtag, Balayan, Bauan, Calaca, Calatagan, Ibaan, Lian, Lobo, Mabini, Malvar, Nasugbu, Padre Garcia, Rosario, San Jose, San Juan, San Luis, San Pascual, Taysan, Tingloy, Tuy and the cities of Batangas and Sto. Tomas. 

Mandanas said they target to move out all evacuees from schools within a week and transfer them to temporary shelters.  

“The province will be finishing the construction of evacuation centers, which can accommodate at least 15,000 people now in school buildings,” he said.

Among the identified resettlement areas are the newly built provincial rehabilitation and detention center in Barangay Malainin and the NHA housing project in Barangay Talaibon that was built for police and soldiers with 1,200 units, both in Ibaan. 

The housing project was never used due to legal issues, but Mandanas said they have reached an agreement to temporarily utilize it as shelter for evacuees.  – With Catherine Talavera, Arnell Ozaeta

Tap for Taal victims

The De La Salle Philippines and AF Payments Inc. launched an initiative to collect donations for Taal victims from LRT commuters using BEEP. 

BEEP is a reloadable contactless smart card created in 2015 as replacement for the magnetic card-based system in paying rail-based rapid transit transportation fares in and around Metro Manila. 

BEEP is also used in lieu of cash in some convenience stores and other businesses. It is implemented and operated by AF Payments Inc., which is owned by Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. 

Volunteers carrying the tap devices wait outside the platform where commuters can donate P5 for every tap.

“During Typhoon Sendong there were students on the street who were asking for donations from people and I think the same effort should be done with a situation like this,” Jyron Raz, campaign assistant of #OneLaSalleforTaal, said.

Donations coursed through the BEEP tap device will go straight to the account of De La Salle Philippines, according to Nash Sudario of AF Payments Inc.

“The device is used to make it easier for people even outside La Salle to donate. The tap of riders in LRT1 will go directly to the beneficiary,” she added.

As of Wednesday night, the group collected P15,000 from over 2,000 donors, with some tapping more than once. 

Raz said they are planning to deploy volunteers in other stations to step up the campaign.


The Department of Tourism is warning tourism stakeholders as well as the public against individuals using the name of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to solicit donations for Taal victims.

The Office of the DOT secretary recently received reports that there are individuals using Puyat’s name in asking for donations.

“The DOT has no such program and its officials have been providing assistance to those affected in their individual and private capabilities,” DOT said.

While it commends the generous spirit and gesture of tourism stakeholders who want to help, the DOT said the assistance could be better coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development private charitable institutions. – With Catherine Talavera, Arnell Ozaeta

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