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US House vows aid

Rep. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)WASHINGTON D.C. – The US House of representatives recently approved a resolution expressing sympathy for the victims of the two typhoons that hit the Philippines and encouraging the US government to work closely with the Philippine officials to improve the country’s disaster mitigation techniques.”

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) on Oct. 6, also asked President Obama to continue to assist the Philippines in its efforts to address the deaths and damage to property caused by tropical storms (Ondoy) Ketsana and (Pepeng) Parma.

The resolution also urged the US government help in relief efforts in terms of logistical, transportation and financial assistance.

Later, peier said “I am very concerned that we continue to monitor the situation, to deal with the health issues that are coming up now,” “It was passed unanimously by the Congress taking note of the typhoon and tropical storm that hit the Philippines, the aid that the United States has offered and our commitment to stand by the Philippines like they stood by us in World War II,” Speier said.

Mary Bates with the San Mateo County Red Cross said financial donations are the best way to help.
“If you send toys, clothes, food, it’s very difficult to get it there and to where it needs to be,” Bates said.
Speier said she is considering taking a trip to the Philippines to see the impact of the storms first hand.
In Manila, Malacanang thanked Rep. Speier for the resolution. “We are very happy and thankful for the resolution,” deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo told GMANews.TV in a phone interview.

Fajardo said the move was also very timely since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently appealed to rich countries to assist the Philippines in rehabilitation and relief efforts after rains brought by Ondoy and Pepeng caused massive damage to infrastructure, agriculture and private property.

She also said she hopes that Obama and the US government will “heed” peier’s call and pass the resolution.
“If it will be successful, it will be a start of a good move that will make other countries follow as well,” she said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs also thanked Speier and the rest of the international community for their efforts in extending help to those affected by the twin cyclones that devastated the country.

We are grateful to Representative Speier and other friends for their support and solidarity with our people during these difficult times,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ed Malaya said in a separate interview.

But Philippine House of Representatives Speaker Prospero Nograles said it would have been better if Speier’s resolution directed actual financial support to the government in its relief efforts.

“Thanks but better with appropriations. It will be more meaningful and will help us out,” Nograles said in a text message to GMANews.TV.

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