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Taiwan donates US$200,000 to help Philippine earthquake relief efforts

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MECO Chairman Silvestre Bello III (center) receives the donation from Taiwan, at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines in Manila on Wednesday. CNA photo Aug. 10, 2022

Manila, Aug. 11 (CNA) Taiwan's government donated US$200,000 to the Philippine province of Abra on Wednesday to help with reconstruction efforts following a powerful earthquake in late July.

At least 11 people were killed and 410 injured after the northern Philippine province was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on July 27, triggering landslides, toppling buildings, and causing estimated agricultural losses of 287 million pesos (US$5.18 million).

Silvestre Bello III, the Philippines' representative to Taiwan, received the donation from Taiwan's representative in the Philippines Michael Hsu (徐佩勇) at a ceremony in Manila, which was also attended by the Governor of Abra Province Dominic B. Valera.

Varela said during the donation ceremony that he believed Abra would soon get back on its feet with the help of Taiwan's donation.

Bello, head of the Taipei-based Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), said in an interview with CNA that the country's President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Filipino people "express their heartfelt gratitude for the Taiwanese government's goodwill and concern."

Meanwhile, when asked by reporters about MECO's response to increased tensions between Taiwan and China, Bello said contingencies were in place with regards to emergency evacuation, shelter, as well as medicine and food supplies.

However, Bello described the situation for Filipinos in Taiwan as "normal," saying that there had been "no requests for shelter, let alone evacuation."

Beijing launched an unprecedented set of military exercises encircling Taiwan following a visit to the island by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week.

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