Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thailand Reaches Out to Philippine Typhoon Victims

Yesterday, we met up with a  friend whose house was ravaged by Typhoon Ondoy. He told of how their whole family, including two toddlers, escaped the floods that reached the 2nd floor of house by climbing down a wall and wading through the chilly waters, before safely reaching  higher ground. They were thankful they didn't suffer any injury as they plunged into and walked barefoot on the muddy water.  A the two killer typhoons have claimed more than 600 lives and untold millions of properties damaged. 

As the Philippines is trying to recover from this onslaught of calamities, we find a glimmer of hope in the outpouring of support from our own countrymen and even foreign governments and organizations. Yesterday, amidst the bad news that greeted us in the front page of our favorite daily, we chanced upon a article that warmed our hearts.



The Thai government, through the Royal Thai embassy in Manila, is extending assistance to the victims of tropical storm "Ondoy." The donation of the Thai government will arrive on board a special Royal Thai Airforce C130 aircraft tomorrow at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, consisting of more than 100 metric tons of rice and 50,000 sets of medical aid amounting to a total of five million baht ($150,000), together with a medical team of 20 doctors to assist evacuees in various affected areas around the country. 

The Royal Thai Embassy, together with Thai Airways International, is presently coordinating with various organizations and the National Disaster Coordinating Council in facilitating the donations. Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadejm Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya have sent their messages of condolence. "On behalf of the government and the people of Thailand, the Royal Thai embassy shares with the Filipinos the hope for the speedy recovery from this tragic disaster," the embassy said in a statement." In collaboration with the Airline Operators Committee in Bangkok, Thai Airways will be flying in assistance consisting of canned goods, dried food, clothing, blankets, and medicine donated by Thai Airways and AOC member-airlines operatiing into Bangkok's Suvanabhumi Airport. The first lot of aid is expected to arrive in Manila on Oct. 12. 

Nivat Chantarachoti, general manager for Thai Airways in the Philippines and Guam, expressed condolence and sympathy for the Filipino people. We have been operating in the Philippines since 1962 and this is the worst flood ever. I have conveyed the situation to our head office for assistance and support as some of our own staffers were also affected by the typhoon. Donation centers have been set up at both the Thai head office in Bangkok and Thai's Operation Center at Suvanabhumi Airport until Oct. 20,"Chantarachoti said. Thai Airways haas been actively involved in supporting various fundraising activities for typhooon victims such as the recent "Hoy Hoy Ondoy" fundraising concert at the NBC Tent in Taguig City by donating two business class tickets to Bangkok for auctions.
             -- from the THE PHILIPPINE STAR  Oct. 11, 2009 

We would like to say thank you to the Thai people for helping our brethren in this time of need.

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