RED CROSS leaders said that “bi-lateral relations between the Philippines and China is greatly enhanced by projects that benefit humanity.”
This as both Red Cross Society of China and Philippine Red Cross held various turn-over ceremonies of 166 prefabricated “transitional” classrooms in different towns in Leyte devastated by typhoon Yolanda in November 8, 2013.
Dr. Zhao Baige, Executive Vice President of the Red Cross of China and concurrently the Vice President of International Federation of Red Cross in her speech at Palo National High School in Palo, Leyte lauded the two countries for the “very good project” showing how important education is for young generation.
Baige also asked the school administrators to take care and protect the new classrooms as the building materials “come from Hongkong and all over the world.”
“We love you, people of Leyte” she added.
According to the Chinese Red Cross, they have also donated 9,300 student armchairs and 166 sets of teachers’ tables and chairs to fully furnish the school buildings.
“The people of China all sympathized with what happened in the Philippines and wanted to help… so we have dispatched over 100 people. We have come because we are from the Chinese people. We are not alone. We have mobilized resources from all walks of life back in China. We have come from various fields from different parts of China,” Baige said.
Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said they collaborated on the project through site development and actual construction with engineering expertise provided by the Chinese.
Among the Leyte towns that received transition classrooms are Palo (26), Tolosa (10), Tanauan (3), Dulag (7), Pastrana (20) and Tacloban city (100).
Aside from the classrooms, the IFRC also launched its “unconditional cash grants” to typhoon victims amounting to P5,000 each household, as the humanitarian agency targeted 50,000 families for the said project.
At Palo National High School, students and residents of the town welcomed the Chinese support.
Janet Macawile, Science teacher, personally thanked the Chinese Red Cross for the new classrooms.
“Holding of classes will be more convenient this time. Thank you China,” she said, as she recalled the time they held classes in tents.
“Before, we brought umbrellas and wore boots inside the makeshift classrooms on rainy days. This time, we feel safer and better.”
Student Ryan Requiez, 13, also said that “with the new classrooms, my hope has been renewed.”
Requiez, who lost his parents, grandmother and two cousins during the typhoon, said he has good reason “to continue living and reaching for my dream because of the new school building.”
This article has been re-published from Leyte Samar Daily Express