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South Korea donates 1,400 MT rice to typhoon-affected communities in the Philippines

Author: DA Communications Group | 12 January 2021

In a gesture of friendship, goodwill, and solidarity, the Republic of Korea donated 1,400 metric tons (MT) of rice to the Philippines as food assistance to thousands of Filipino families who were adversely affected by natural calamities in 2020.

“On behalf of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Filipino people, we sincerely thank the government and the people of the Republic of Korea, led by President Moon Jae-in, for their unqualified assistance. We cannot thank them enough for their continued generosity and humanitarian gesture,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The Korean rice donation came in two shipments: 400 MT in General Santos City, in September 2020 for affected communities in Mindanao; and 1,000 MT in Batangas, in October 2020, for Luzon typhoon victims.

It was made possible through the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve Tier 3 (APTERR Tier 3) Program.

Among the APTERR member-states, the Korean government responded favorably to the call for emergency food assistance for calamity victims in the Philippines.

The rice donation was spearheaded by Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and sent to the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the National Food Authority (NFA).

The 1,000-MT rice donation was distributed to thousands of households in Catanduanes who were severely hit by typhoons in October and November.

On behalf of Secretary William Dar, Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel de Mesa welcomed the 1,000-MT Korean rice assistance, on December 18, 2020, at NFA Batangas City, with the presence of DA, NFA, DSWD, and Korean Embassy officials.

“We would like to express the Philippines’ gratitude to the Korean government and APTERR for extending a helping hand to the Philippines during times of calamities. Their rice donation will greatly help aid the Philippine Government in its drive to recover and rehabilitate the calamity-affected communities in Catanduanes,” said de Mesa.

“We hope the Korean government will continue to support the Philippine agriculture sector, especially in its fight against COVID-19,” he added.

For her part, NFA Administrator Carol Judy Dansal said “the assistance from the Korean government came at a very opportune time. We have seen how devastating it was in the hard-hit communities in Catanduanes. The rice donation will indeed go a long way in ensuring food security in this most trying time of their life.”

“Considering the severe damages brought about by super typhoon Rolly in early November, the DA-NFA requested the APTERR Tier 3 program for the reallocation of the donation affected communities in Catanduanes,” she said.

The DA-NFA, in coordination with the DSWD, ensured the efficient distribution of the Korean rice donation to intended beneficiaries, she added.

The rice donation through APTERR was the second batch extended by the South Korean government. The first was in April 2020, when it shipped 950 MT, composed of 600 MT for the victims of earthquakes in Mindanao and 350 MT for the victims of typhoon Quiel in Cagayan Valley.

APTERR Tier 3 is a regional cooperation mechanism involving ASEAN member-countries plus the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the People’s Republic of China. It aims to strengthen food security and provide emergency rice assistance to victims of natural calamities in ASEAN countries. ### (DA StratComms)

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