SINGAPORE — President Benigno S. Aquino III thanked Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for the assistance his government has extended to the Philippines in aid of the victims of super typhoon ‘Yolanda.’
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda conveyed this on Tuesday following a courtesy call paid by President Aquino on his Singaporean host at the Istana main building immediately upon his arrival here for a two-day working visit.
“We started off with the President mentioning and thanking Singapore for its assistance in Typhoon Yolanda, and the President laid out what we’re doing, what we have been doing with respect to the rehabilitation efforts on Typhoon Yolanda. Also, he mentioned some efforts that we’re doing in Tacloban City,” Lacierda told Manila-based reporters in a press briefing.
Among the things mentioned by President Aquino to his Singaporean counterpart is the government’s plan to move the country’s primary gateway to Eastern Visayas, the Tacloban City airport, to another location, he said.
“The President mentioned that we’re moving the airport from Tacloban City to a safer place, and the Prime Minister was just saying that, ‘Well, you’ve got your work cut out for the next two years,’” Lacierda said.
The Tacloban City airport was among the major infrastructure heavily damaged by Typhoon “Yolanda” when it made landfall in November 2013, hampering government relief efforts in the area at the time.
Lacierda said President Aquino also made Prime Minister Lee know about his government’s commitment to finish by 2015 the reconstruction of the housing units for the victims.
Singapore was one of the many countries worldwide that sent immediate help to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. It deployed its C-130 to assist in the transportation of relief supplies to Tacloban.
The Singaporean government and its citizens have also donated a total of Php12 million in humanitarian aid.