'Utang ng loob': Romualdez office to donate $100,000 to Turkey quake victims

House Speaker Martin Romualdez has never forgotten his debt of gratitude to the good people of Turkey when typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan) struck his province of Leyte nearly a decade ago.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Speaker’s office)

As such, the House of Representatives, through the Speaker’s Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Initiative, announced Sunday, Feb. 12 that it would be donating $100,000 as humanitarian aid to the thousands of earthquake victims in Turkey.

Turkey was among the first country-responders in the aftermath of Yolanda, which plowed through the country's central islands back in November 2013. Romualdez's home city of Tacloban, Leyte; and many parts of Eastern Samar, were devastated.

Romualdez said he was sincerely grateful to Turkey for its help to the region.

“The assistance extended by Turkey, the United States (US) and our allies and friends abroad helped ease the pain and suffering of our people,” said Romualdez, Leyte’s 1st district representative.

The $100,000 will come from the Speaker’s Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Initiative, which was launched during his 59th birthday celebration last Nov. 14, 2022.

During the said event, P70.92 million cash and pledges for disaster victims were generated. Fire victims from Navotas City were among the first beneficiaries followed by flood victims in Mindanao and Visayas.

The Speaker will turn over the $100,000 assistance to Turkey’s Ambassador to the Philippines Niyazi Evren Akyol and his wife Inddri Puspitarasi on Monday, Feb. 13 at his office at Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City.

Other House officials are expected to attend the turnover ceremony.

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria on February 6, followed by a 7.5 magnitude tremor that caused numerous aftershocks.

The death toll has been placed at over 21,000, with at least two Filipinos reportedly among those killed.