23 February 2014

Bahrain, Philippines sign agreement for dev’t projects for Yolanda survivors

The Kingdom of Bahrain has signed an agreement with the Philippines to carry out two development projects for the country, including a shelter program for victims of Typhoon Yolanda, which devastated Eastern Visayas in November last year.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Mustafa Al Sayed, secretary-general of Bahrain’s Royal Charity Organization, and Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, at The Lighthouse Marina Resort here on Friday.

The signing was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman Roberto V. Garcia.

The development projects include the construction of 500 houses in a complex in Tacloban City and two vocational centers for the youth—one in Tacloban and another in the Subic Bay Freeport.

Sayed said the projects were the kingdom’s “additional response” to the Yolanda calamity, which nearly wiped out Tacloban City and other neighboring areas in Southern Philippines.

Sayed also said that it was the wish of Sheikh Nasser to look for ways to make his visit to the country worthwhile. The Sheikh was in Subic to participate in the Challenge Philippines triathlon held last Saturday.

“The first thing that came to his mind was not to win the triathlon. His mind was on how to link this event with something of charity, of humanitarian work and something that would encourage the youth to get the same value of winning the social responsibility challenges, as much as you win the sporting challenges,” Sayed explained.

“I think this is a fantastic principle and it assured that His Highness is already a winner. He has won the hearts of the people. That’s fantastic,” Sayed added.

Sheikh Nasser said for his part that he wanted to encourage the youth to have a healthy lifestyle by building the vocational centers.

He also said that he finds the Philippines, particularly Subic Bay, a beautiful place.

“I will try to be here more often, and this will definitely not be my last visit,” the Sheikh said.

Meanwhile, Gordon thanked the Royal Charity Organization and the Sheikh, and acknowledged their continuous support for the country’s rehabilitation efforts.

He noted that this was the first time for Bahrain and the Philippines to sign an agreement.

“This is a huge step because it not only alleviates human suffering, but definitely shows the kindness of the Bahraini people who have come here all the way from their country and even brought their prince to be with us here,” he said. (FMD/MPD-SBMA)