WASHINGTON – Reps. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) and Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley) introduced a joint resolution Nov. 13 to urge Congress to continue to provide assistance to the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines.
“The historical and cultural links between the Philippines and the United States run deeper than any flood waters,” said Speier. “I urge my colleagues to support this resolution to show our friends, the good people of the Philippines, that – as they stood with us in World War II – the American people stand with them at this, their time of greatest need. There are so many Filipino families in my district grieving over this and they deserve to know we are doing all we can to help.”
“Alongside the 60,000 Filipino Americans in my congressional district, as well as the 3.4 million across the country, my heart goes out to the people of the Philippines and all those affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan,” said Honda. “I draw upon the spirit of Bayanihan – where communities join together to uplift their neighbors – and call our global community to action and stand in support and solidarity with the relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines.
“I am honored to introduce this resolution, and plan on working closely with our federal aid agencies and local relief efforts to ensure that our Filipino brothers and sisters are not – nor will they ever be – forgotten.”
The resolution the two offered together expresses the deepest condolences from the U.S. to the people of the Philippines affected by the typhoon, which has claimed nearly 1,800 lives and left more than 600,000 people homeless. It also urges additional support for the victims in the recovery and rebuilding process. Despite an initial release of $25 million in U.N. emergency funds, aid workers report medicine shortages and difficulty accessing fresh water and food.
Honda represents California’s 17th District, the first Asian-majority congressional district in the continental U.S. He currently serves as chair emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
Speier represents California’s 14th District, which has the largest population of Filipino Americans in the continental U.S. at nearly 70,000.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), current chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said in a statement, “I am deeply saddened by the destruction caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. My thoughts are with individuals, families and loved ones affected by this disaster. The United States committed to sending $20 million in assistance to support recovery efforts. I will do everything I can as chair of CAPAC to help support the people of the Philippines and their families.”