|08MANILA1582||2008-07-02 10:05:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Manila|
VZCZCXRO7957 OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM DE RUEHML #1582 1841005 ZNR UUUUU ZZH O 021005Z JUL 08 FM AMEMBASSY MANILA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1162 INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE RHOVQHS/COMSEVENTHFLT IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUWDQAB/NTSB WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 001582
1. Summary. The phase of intense and immediate support for the
victims of Typhoon Frank is complete, and the Philippines will now
concentrate on the long-term rebuilding of its devastated provinces.
President Arroyo has personally thanked the Mission and USS REAGAN
commander for the United States government's swift and thorough
response. With the immediate needs met, Mission believes that the
time is right for remaining U.S. military assets and Office of
Foreign Disaster Assistance staff to leave the area on or about July
2. The Philippines Secretary of Defense concurs. The United States
has conducted more than 320 relief flights and delivered nearly
494,000 pounds of food, water, hygiene kits, and relief cargo. End
2. The USS RONALD REAGAN and its carrier group provided assistance
to those affected by the typhoon from June 25 to July 2. Aircraft
from our ships, along with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
aircraft, delivered rice, bottled water, foodstuffs, medicine,
hygiene kits, tarps, and other shelter materials. USAID Office of
Foreign Disaster Assistance provided $650,000 in goods and $100,000
in support to the Red Cross. The close coordination between the
AFP, the U.S. Navy, the Philippine Red Cross, and national and local
authorities, enabled rapid distribution to all four provinces on
Panay Island and the 19 communities with the most critical needs.
3. In a strong public show of gratitude July 1 at a mass of
remembrance for victims of the MV Princess of the Stars ferry
sinking, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo personally thanked the
acting Deputy Chief of Mission and USS REAGAN carrier group
commander Rear Admiral Philip Wisecup for the rapid and extensive
assistance effort mounted by the U.S. Her positive sentiments have
been widely mirrored by the Philippine public and press.
4. The Navy vessel USNS STOCKHAM left the typhoon-affected area and
resumed its scheduled deployment on July 1. The two USAID Office of
Foreign Disaster Assistance staff have performed their critical
duties and will depart Iloilo July 2.
5. Short-term relief needs have been met. There is ongoing
assistance by Philippine authorities and the Red Cross. The U.S.
Embassy will maintain contact with Philippine counterparts to remain
abreast of the situation as rebuilding continues.
6. With the critical phase of the U.S. humanitarian relief effort
now passed, and with both the Philippine government and public
expressing deep gratitude and appreciation for the extensive USG
efforts, Mission believes that the time is right for U.S. military
and disaster assistance assets to end their missions.
7. Ambassador has discussed this with the Philippine Secretary of
Defense and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. Both are deeply
appreciative of our assistance and both agree that our mission here
is complete. The Philippine government is now moving from immediate
relief to long term repair and rebuilding.
8. We will send a wrap-up report on the impact of our efforts