Philippines

Duterte thanks Qatar for aid to ‘Odette’-hit areas

By Azer Parrocha 

THANK YOU, QATAR. President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his visit to typhoon victims in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte on Wednesday (Dec. 22, 2021). The President thanked Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for his country’s offer of assistance to typhoon victims. (Screengrab from RTVM)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has extended gratitude to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, for their offer of assistance for provinces hit by Typhoon Odette.

In a statement from the Office of the President, Duterte conveyed his “sincerest appreciation” to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “for the expression of sympathy and solidarity with the victims of Typhoon Rai (Odette) during a telephone conversation held on 21 December 2021.”

Duterte also welcomed the Qatari Amir’s offer of assistance for the rehabilitation of the affected communities in the Visayas and northern Mindanao regions.

“The two leaders instructed their respective Secretary and Minister of interior government to coordinate directly to facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance from Qatar,” the statement read.

Duterte added that Qatar “is and (will) always be a friend of the Philippines”.

He thanked the Qatari government for the humane treatment of Filipinos living and working in Qatar.

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for his part, said that Filipinos are appreciated in Qatar.

“He likewise expressed his administration for the President’s strong leadership, wishing him the best as he fulfills his mandate,” the statement read.

On Wednesday, Malacañang thanked countries and organizations for their outpouring of support to areas ravaged by the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said these countries and organizations have pledged financial and in-kind assistance.

“We are likewise grateful to our friends in the international community, partners, and allies for their offers of assistance. These include Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the United Nations, and the State of Qatar among others,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

Duterte earlier signed Proclamation No. 1267, placing areas battered by Typhoon Odette, particularly Mimaropa (Region 4-B), Western Visayas (Region 6), Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Northern Mindanao (Region 10), and Caraga (Region 13) under a state of calamity.

The proclamation is meant to hasten the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector, including any international humanitarian assistance.

Typhoon Odette caused widespread devastation and damage to houses, infrastructure, properties, and agriculture, and resulted in the disruption of critical lifelines of Filipinos in areas affected by the typhoon.

The death toll from the typhoon rose to 258, with 568 injured, and 47 missing, based on the latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council showed. (PNA)

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