President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has extended assistance to the areas hit by a 7.4-magnitude earthquake and tsunami last month in Indonesia.

Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Tan Wee confirmed this during an interview with the media at Patra Hotel here on Wednesday, October 10.

“As of today, I learned that our C-130 plane has flown out of the Philippines to bring all assistance to Palu,” Wee said of the hard-hit Indonesia’s coastal city, where nearly 2,000 people died.

He said the Philippine government has also pledged US$300,000 in humanitarian assistance consisting of generators, medical kits, and water.

The first batch of the relief goods and other aids arrived at Balikpapan Kalimantan Airport on Wednesday while the second delivery is scheduled on Sunday.

Apart from government aid, several private companies in the Philippines also extended cash donations to the Embassy of Indonesia in the Philippines, according to Ambassador Wee.

He added that the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) also donated US$100,000.

President Duterte is scheduled to arrive here on Wednesday night to attend the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering along with other nine leaders of the regional bloc.

While in Bali, the Chief Executive is also expected to meet with Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, said Ambassador Wee.

The envoy said the two leaders are expected to discuss matters of mutual interest such as enhancing trade and investment, combatting terrorism, and intensifying maritime defense and security.

Regarding trade, Ambassador Wee disclosed the plan to revive an old air route between Davao and Manado, capital of Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province.

“Probably within the year or early next year, there will be an air route that will come from Davao to Manado,” he said.

“And there’s a fastfood company in the Philippines that will also open up in Jakarta,” he added.

Following the briefing, Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Sinyo Harry Sarundajang joined his counterpart for a photo opportunity.

Ambassador Sarundajang expressed his gratitude to the Philippine government for its assistance in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Indonesia, we would like to thank the government and the people of the Philippines for the support [after the] disaster in Palu and Donggala,” he said.

He cited the “brotherhood” between the Philippines and Indonesia is evident, commending the Philippine government for always being open to help countries in need.

He likewise noted that the two nations are already preparing for the celebration of the 70th year of the Philippines and Indonesia’s bilateral relation next year.

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