14 November 2013 – On behalf of the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the Filipino community in Malaysia, Ambassador Malaya conveyed deepest appreciation and gratitude to the Malaysian government, relief and charitable organizations and Malaysians of all walks of life for their expression of support and solidarity in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

"These spontaneous gestures of solidarity by the Malaysian government and people and the rest of the international community provide the affected Filipinos much comfort and reassurance that they are not alone in these hours and days of need. These are deeply appreciated, especially coming from a next-door neighbor and an ASEAN brother," he stated.

The Embassy in particular conveyed thanks to the Malaysian Government for the food, medical aid, a field hospital and other relief assistance it has airlifted. It also expressed its deep gratitude to Mercy Malaysia, Kelab Putera 1Malaysia and other nongovernmental organizations which have gone or are going to the Visayas to extend assistance.

"We are heartened by the calls, letters, emails and posts in our Facebook page by our Malaysian friends, expressing their solidarity," he stated.

"Finally, we wish to thank the Filipino community in Malaysia, whose bayanihan or gotong royong spirit is truly alive as they undertake fund-raising and relief drive activities, so they too can extend a helping hand," Ambassador Malaya added.

The Ambassador also expressed confidence that relief is now reaching more and more affected people in the countryside.

"We take comfort to also note the death toll has not reached the 10,000 mark, the number initially feared by some officials right after the storm, but only over 2,300 or to be exact, 2,344 as of 6:50 pm, Wednesday. In contrast, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami took the lives of 230,000 people in fourteen countries. By the grace of God, the scale of the loss, suffering and suffering and the requirements for relief and rehabilitation are significantly lesser," the Ambassador said.

"But the loss of a single life is one too many, and efforts are now under to reach all those in need, including in remote barangays (kampungs). According to Defense Minister Gazmin, up to 40 towns in Leyte province will be reached by relief workers by Thursday," he added.

At the Embassy, there is a donation box at the cashier area of the Embassy's consular area for those who want to extend financial aid, and its proceeds will go to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC). Relief goods such as blankets, sleeping mats, tents, mosquito nets, foodstuffs (ready-to-eat food such as water, biscuits, canned goods, etc.), hygiene kits, cooking utensils, first aid kits and the like are also accepted. This will be shipped courtesy of the Philippine-based cargo company LBC and its LBC Foundation, to the Philippine National Red Cross and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

There have been an overwhelming number of donations pouring into the Embassy from individuals, companies and groups who are dropping off their in-kind assistance.

Representatives from Think Tank Sdn Bhd and Harley Bikers at the Klang Area donated boxes of food and hygiene products. The initiative was started by Filipino expat Peaches Aberin among her neighbors. Filipino community organization KL Pinoy, Isabelino Ako and BIBAK also donated boxes of goods, along with the British School in Kuala Lumpur.

Donations may also be sent directly to the PNRC (http://www.redcross.org.ph/donate), the DSWD (www.dswd.gov.ph) or the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center or NDRRMC (www.ndrrmc.gov.ph). END