Spain said it is committed to help the Philippines
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo is set to visit the Philippines next week, renewing Spain’s commitment to help the country and strengthen bilateral ties.
Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq said that Garcia-Margallo is coming to sign the Co-operation Framework Agreement with the Philippines that aims to ‘establish a new Spanish-Philippine partnership for the next four years.’
The envoy said that Spain-Philippine partnership started in 1947 with the Treaty of Friendship. He added that political and development consultations had been consistent between the two countries and that these happen every three years.
This year, Spain will focus on supporting government reform and disaster risk reduction. The foreign minister is set to attend the inauguration of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council emergency warehouse in Clark, Pampanga. Spain is funding the warehouse and logistics base, which will also serve as an emergency training centre for humanitarian workers in the country.
Spain is set to fund another warehouse in Nueva Ecija. It also plans to train disaster response teams in Albay, one of the country’s most hazard-prone provinces.
The Philippines has been a major recipient of Spanish humanitarian aid in the past decade. Domecq said Spain has given some €255m (Php15.8b) in grants between 2001 and 2012. €28m of this was especially set aside for relief efforts in the country, including those for typhoon Yolanda, the Zamboanga Crisis and the Bohol earthquake.
According to the government’s Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (Faith), Spain’s non-cash aid for typhoon Yolanda amounted to Php84,640,007. These covered relief goods, equipment and humanitarian workers and were channeled through NGOs, the Red Cross and the UN.