For a brief moment, all was well between Hong Kong and the Philippines.
During a press briefing in Malacañang on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said Hong Kong reached out to the Philippine government amid the damage brought by Typhoon Yolanda to the country.
“I got a call this morning from the Hong Kong government expressing their sympathies and… we’re grateful, we’re very thankful to the whole world for the support,” he said.
Before the calamity, tensions were rising between Hong Kong and the Philippines because of the Manila hostage crisis.
But aside from Hong Kong, Almendras also thanked the other countries who extended a helping hand to the country.
He specifically cited Singapore which he said is sending a complete set of trauma equipment and Spain who reportedly donated cash for relief efforts.
“So there’s a lot [of donations] and I’m very grateful for that. I’m just saying we’re very grateful for any help you can give us,” he said.
But he also reminded those who wish to donate to the victims to give the “right kind of help.”
“What do I mean by a right kind of help? Don’t send us something that we cannot use immediately. I mean, if you’re gonna send us construction materials, please don’t send it yet,” he said.
“We need resources (that) we need (in) relief operations that we need. That means food, medicine,” he added.
Almendras, however, assured the public that the government has enough funds for rescue and relief operations, specifically from the Calamity and the Quick Response Funds.
“Secretary Abad and I, we’re looking at the numbers and we know we have enough money. And then, we’re glad there’s a new budget here coming in January and so there’s gonna be new funds that can be used for that,” he said.
“Don’t worry. We are very open to be audited by…anyone else who wants to make sure that we are spending this money properly. I assure you we have been very deliberate and disciplined as required by the President. Masinop po ang Pangulo natin pagdating sa gastusin,” he added. — JDS, GMA News