Press Release
April 23, 2013

PH humanitarian mission to help China quake victims sought

Sen. Ralph G. Recto today said government should quickly send a humanitarian mission to help victims of the devastating earthquake that rocked a Southwestern Chinese province last weekend.

"As a neighbor with deep historical and economic ties, the country should send its own humanitarian contingent and find ways to help in the rescue and even in the post-quake effort," Recto said.

He stressed diplomatic differences on how to approach the issues on West Philippine Sea and the recent grounding of a Chinese fishing boat should be set aside for now to reach out to a neighbor in dire need.

"China must be feeling the weight of losing precious lives and rehabilitating damaged villages. We could unburden it a bit with our compassion and direct help," Recto, senior foreign relations panel member, said.

"I believe this is not the time to be insensitive and indifferent to what China is undergoing right now. We are humanely obligated to extend assistance to their people," he added.

Recto said finding survivors is a major rescue work for Chinese rescuers and volunteers, which the country could provide some "muscle" and "experience" after going through a series of natural disasters in the last five years.

The senator likewise urged Filipino-Chinese business groups to coordinate with the government if they wish to extend their help to earthquake victims in China.

The death toll continues to climb from the earthquake that hit the Chinese province of Sichuan.

More than 1,100 aftershocks have followed since the quake struck Saturday morning.

Chinese seismologists registered the tremor at 7.0 magnitude while the US Geological Survey recorded it as 6.6.

At least 192 people have been confirmed dead, 24 are missing and nearly 11,500 were injured, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

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