China to help victims of Davao mall fire, Vinta in January 2018

Mara Cepeda
China joins Japan in committing to aid Davao City after two tragedies affected its residents just before Christmas

CHINA AID. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte announces the Chinese government will help residents recover from two tragedies that affected her city. File photo by Mick Basa/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Representatives from the Chinese government are set to visit Davao City in January 2018 to provide assistance to victims of Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin), as well as, aid to the relatives of employees who perished in the Davao mall fire. 

This was disclosed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in a press conference on Wednesday, December 27. 

She was asked how much in assistance the Japanese government has committed to give Davao City to help victims of Tropical Storm Vinta. But she said she has yet to confirm the statement of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (READ: Japan ready to send help for victims of Vinta)

Instead, Duterte said she has personally confirmed that another country, China, plans to help Davao City residents.

“What I received is information – and this is confirmed information – that the People’s Republic of China will come, representatives from the People’s Republic of China will come after the New Year to give their assistance for those who died in the fire and those who were affected by the floods because of Typhooon Vinta,” saud Duterte. 

She did not disclose, however, how much the Chinese government plans to donate to Davao City.

Just this month alone, two tragedies struck Duterte’s city. Vinta ravaged Davao City last week, causing more than 31,000 residents to be affected by flooding. The local government has already shelled out P83.4 million to assist the storm victims.

Then on Saturday, December 23, fire struck the NCCC Mall, killing 38.

Thirty-six of the victims were employees of American firm Research Now SSI, which has promised to arrange counseling for its employees, support the victims’ funeral arrangements, and create a fund for contributions to the victims’ families. (READ: ‘Heads must roll over Davao mall fire deaths’ – labor groups)

The Department of Justice said it will launch a criminal investigation into the cause of the fire while the Department of Labor and Employment vowed to probe whether or not the mall should be held liable for the deadly blaze. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.