New Zealand, PRC inaugurate relief warehouse in Tacloban
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines David Strachan and Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Secretary-General Oscar Palabyab inaugurated the new PRC logistics and multi purpose center in the city on Wednesday, December 14.
The center is part of New Zealand's P159 million (*$3.184 million) donation to the PRC.
According to Palabyab, the newly-constructed warehouse and training center is meant to strengthen PRC's capacity to quickly and efficiently respond to disaster and calamities in Eastern Visayas.
"This will serve as the hub of operations during emergencies and natural disasters in Leyte and other nearby provinces," Palabyab said.
The construction of the warehouse was done through funding support from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
Tacloban was one of the hardest-hit cities when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) battered the country in November 2013.
Committed to help
The ambassador reaffirmed that New Zealand is committed to strengthening resilience through improving the preparedness of the country's ASEAN partners to manage and recover from disasters.
"We recognize the threat of climate change and New Zealand is committed to helping our ASEAN neighbors mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change," Strachan said.
"Our support to the PRC is an example of our commitment to disaster risk management and humanitarian relief in the Philippines," he added.
The PRC and the New Zealand MFA signed a 3-year grant fund agreement. This program funded the construction of the Tacloban warehouse and reftrofitting for 8 other warehouses in Mandaluyong, Subic, Cebu, Ilocos Norte, Batangas, and Cagayan de Oro.
PRC and New Zealand MFA have also provided non-food items for 14,000 families; purchased material handling equipment like metal shelves, plastic pallets, forklifts, semi-electric stackers, and digital weighing scales; purchased computer hardware, flat and low bed trailer and tractor head; and have conducted logistics trainings for PRC staff and volunteers in Leyte and other provinces. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P49.94