Sep 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/10/09MANILA2140.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA2140
2009-10-08 08:19
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO5167
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2140/01 2810819
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080819Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5402
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHOVQHS/COMSEVENTHFLT IMMEDIATE
INFO RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 2302
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0326
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
RUEHRO/USMISSION UN ROME IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002140

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

BANGKOK FOR USAID /OFDA REGIONAL ADVISOR A. DWYER
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA R. THAYER
USAID W/ FOR ANE/AA AND DCHA/FPP
GENEVA FOR N. KYLOH
USUN FOR OFDA REP
BRUSSELS FOR P. BROWN
ROME FOR USAID/OHA H. SPANOS
SECDEF FOR SOLIC
JOINT STAFF WASHDC FOR J3/J4/J5
PACOM FOR J3/J4/J5
NSC FOR P. MARCHAM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SOCI PREL KPAO SENV EAGR RP
SUBJECT: SUPERBLY EXECUTED U.S. MILITARY TYPHOON RELIEF EFFORT WRAPPING UP IN PHILIPPINES

REFTELS: A) Manila 2136 B) Manila 2131 C) Manila 2125 D) Manila
2112 E) Manila 2098 F) Manila 2089 G) Manila 2070 H) Manila 2056 I)
Manila 2049 J) Manila 2046

————————————-
“Couldn’t Have Survived Without U.S.”
————————————-

¶1. (SBU) In recent days, both Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto
Romulo and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro (concurrently head of
the Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council)communicated
to the Ambassador their deep gratitude for U.S. disaster relief
assistance in the wake of Typhoon Ondoy (reftel A). Both
Secretaries concurred with the Ambassador’s assessment that the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) could capably manage remaining
relief work and that it was time for the highly successful U.S.
military flood relief efforts to end. The Ambassador assured
Secretary Teodoro that USAID efforts would continue and that the USG
would remain engaged as the Philippines rebuilds after the worst
flooding in forty years.

——————————————— ———
Lives Saved, Ties Strengthened, Expertise Demonstrated
——————————————— ———

¶2. (SBU) U.S. military personnel engaged in Typhoon Ondoy disaster
relief efforts saved lives, improved interoperability and
strengthened ties with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units,
while generating good will for the United States. In the disaster’s
early days, the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines
(JSOTF-P) deployed land, sea and air assets to rescue stranded flood
victims and ferry the injured to hospitals. As the number of
Filipinos displaced by the calamity topped 700,000, the armed forces
and government of the Philippines requested that U.S. sailors and
marines arrive ahead of the already scheduled Philippines Bilateral
Exercise (TALON VISION/PHIBLEX) to provide humanitarian relief.
These personnel provided medical assistance to 4,500 patients,
delivered over 28,000 food packs and distributed more than 700 boxes
of clothing to flood victims. Deploying heavy equipment diverted
from PHIBLEX, U.S. troops also removed some 1500 cubic meters of
debris and cleared almost three kilometers of Metro Manila
thoroughfares. The U.S. military’s fast, flexible expertise
improved the lives of thousands of Filipinos and demonstrated the
value of humanitarian assistance training.

———————
USAID Remains Engaged
———————
¶3. (SBU) USAID continues to work with the Philippine government,
international organizations, donors and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) to coordinate on meeting immediate humanitarian
assistance needs which are foreseen for the next three months.
Additional grants to NGOs are still under consideration for relief
efforts. USAID is currently taking into consideration UN
assessments that show Typhoon Parma destroyed approximately 60% of
the corn and rice crop in Northern Luzon. This area of the
Philippines is known to be the number one corn producer and number
two rice producer in the country, which will affect food
availability in the rest of the country over the long-term.
¶4. (SBU) USAID is also currently reviewing its on-going portfolio of
development programs to address issues that will arise in the
recovery and rehabilitation phases. USAID’s Health Team is working
with the Philippine Department of Health to determine its priority
needs. USAID’s Education Team is coordinating with the Philippine
Department of Education to assess the damage done to public
libraries and schools. USAID is considering providing a donation of
reading books and materials to these public libraries and schools in
Metro Manila and surrounding areas. USAID’s Energy and Environment
Team is currently assessing Department of Environment and Natural

MANILA 00002140 002 OF 002

Resources capabilities to address solid waste management and the
extent that USAID can provide technical assistance.
——————————————— —-
Media Coverage of the U.S. Contribution Continues
——————————————— —-

¶5. (U) Print and broadcast media extensively covered President
Obama’s message of condolences to the Philippine people for the loss
of life and property from Typhoon Ondoy/Ketsana. During October 8
radio and cable television interviews, the Ambassador noted that
U.S. military personnel will transition from relief operations to
joint U.S.-GRP military exercises (Talon Vision/ Philippines
Bilateral Exercise) by Saturday October 10. The Philippines’
premier daily, the Philippines Daily Inquirer, featured photos of
the Ambassador and the head of the Philippines National Red Cross
distributing relief supplies at an evacuation center in Quezon City,
Metro Manila, while other dailies quoted the head of the Metro
Manila Development Authority thanking U.S. troops for clearing
roadways of flood debris.

———-
Next Steps
———-
¶6. (SBU) Barring unforeseen circumstances, it is likely that
conditions will allow for a scaling down of U.S. military disaster
assistance in the next two days. USAID will continue crisis and
health counseling efforts, and utilizing the $1.8 million in
disaster assistance in the most productive way to alleviate
suffering in the Philippines.

   

 

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