Senators sympathize with quake-hit Taiwan, urge gov't to aid OFWs

Senators sympathize with quake-hit Taiwan, urge PH gov’t to assist OFWs

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 05:22 PM April 03, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Senators on Wednesday expressed sympathies to the people of Taiwan while urging the Philippine government to prioritize the safety and welfare of Filipinos there.

Several people have been reported dead or injured following a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan this Wednesday morning.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Taiwan during this difficult time and offer our unwavering support as you work to rebuild and recover. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods in this tragic event,” Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said in a statement.


He then urged the Department of Foreign Affairs “to swiftly prioritize the welfare of Filipinos” who may be affected by the powerful earthquake.


“We must act with urgency to extend the necessary assistance and support to our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) and ensure their safety and well-being,” he stressed.

Senator Grace Poe also expressed her deepest sympathies to the people of Taiwan affected by the earthquake and support for those providing emergency assistance and rescue efforts on the ground.

“As home to thousands of Filipinos, we hope our countrymen in the impacted areas are out of harm’s way,” Poe said in a separate statement.

“We are confident that with the resilience and hard work of the Taiwanese people, they will recover from this tragedy and rebuild their communities anew,” she added.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, meanwhile, asked the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to swiftly account for every overseas OFW in Taiwan who may have been affected by the earthquake.

“The DMW must urgently ensure that the needs of every Filipino who may have been displaced or injured are promptly addressed,” Gatchalian said in a separate statement.


He likewise urged the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Department of Interior and Local Government to immediately act on the threat of tsunami in certain coastal areas in the country.

“The government must ensure that coastal communities under tsunami warnings are evacuated to higher grounds as soon as possible,” Gatchalian said.

A tsunami warning has already been raised in some parts of the country following the tremor.

Senator Lito Lapid echoed his colleagues’ call, although his statement was directed to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco).

“Nakaatang sa Meco ang pagtulong sa ating migrant workers para sa kanilang kapakanan, kaligtasan at promosyon ng economic and cultural relations sa Taiwan,” Lapid said.

(It is the responsibility of Meco to assist our migrant workers for their welfare, safety, and the promotion of economic and cultural relations in Taiwan)

Senator Robin Padilla, for his part, reiterated the need to prepare Filipinos to respond to calamities by undergoing military training.

READ: Robin Padilla launches citizens military drill in Senate 

“It would be good if we were trained and knew what to do in an emergency. This is for the peace and safety of our fellow Filipinos,” Padilla said in Filipino at the start of the Basic Citizen Military Course at the Senate.

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“We need to know the roles of leaders and followers. In the Philippines, there are too many people who want to be leaders. We should know who will lead, what the protocols are in an emergency. We must not be confused; instead, we all have roles to play in responding to a calamity,” he further said.

TAGS: Earthquake, ofws, senators, Taiwan

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