WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representatives Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Mike Honda (D-CA) led a total of 35 Members of Congress in calling on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson to designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Philippines during the country’s continued recovery in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record. The TPS designation would allow the Philippine government to focus on providing timely aid to the survivors currently in the country.
“It’s been four months since the Philippines was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan, and the Administration still has not granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the Filipino people,” said Representative Royce. “Granting TPS allows the Philippine government to focus the limited resources they have on the survivors who are still struggling to access clean water, food or shelter within the disaster stricken areas of the Philippines. I strongly urge Secretary Johnson to move forward with this important designation.”
“The Philippines needs TPS status,” said Representative Honda. “Their resources are already stretched and strained. This is a crucial part of our response to this disaster. During World War II, Filipinos answered the U.S.’s call for action and fought side-by-side under the American flag. Now, it is our turn to come to their aid. For the over 60,000 Filipinos and Filipino Americans in CA-17, and millions across this country, this is a priority issue. Granting TPS is the simply right thing to do.”
Typhoon Haiyan killed over 6,000 people, affected more than 16 million individuals, and caused an estimated $895 million in damages. Based on the devastated communities, the Philippines meets the criteria for TPS. In the immediate aftermath of the typhoon, Royce joined his colleagues in calling on then-Acting DHS Secretary Beers asking him to designate the country for TPS. In the wake of similar natural disasters, countries including El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua have received TPS designation.
Royce co-sponsored the Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act, legislation recently signed into law that accelerates tax relief for Americans making charitable donations in support of Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts. In February, Representative Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led a bipartisan delegation of eight members to the Philippines and visited Tacloban, the city devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
In November of last year, Representative Royce introduced H.Res. 404, a resolution that expresses deep sympathy and support to the people of the Philippines for the terrible loss of life and massive destruction as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. Additionally, Representative Royce is a member of the Congressional U.S. – Philippine Friendship Caucus and led the charge in Congress to allow USAID to purchase, in the Philippines, part of the grain and relief distributed to typhoon victims.
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