Sunday, November 4, 2007

Action Agad from the Philippine Consulate

Responding to the community's need during the wildfire crisis, the Philippine Consulate of Los Angeles quickly sent a team led by Vice Consul Jim San Agustin to San Diego to find out where and how they could help Filipinos affected by the disaster.

While visiting the evacuation center, they met with Filipino community leaders and offered the Consulate's assistance in acting as a "clearing house for disaster relief and coordination."

The consular team was happy to know that the Filipinos affected by the disaster were getting the help through FEMA and other organizations, but they worried that there might be Filipino fire victims who were afraid or ashamed to come forward.
Not everyone might be able to get any help through traditional sources so the Philippine Consulate wanted to spread the word that all fire victims can contact the Consulate to see what type of assistance they can render.

"Major concerns are elderly, those with disability, and undocumented workers. These people may not know how to access assistance, are ineligible for assistance or have difficulties accessing assistance (language, sense of intimidation, hiya, etc.)," wrote Vice Consul Ed Yulo, who led the Philippine Consulate team when Katrina hit.

Any assistance from the community need not be coursed through the Consulate but they encourage everyone to give in any way they can in any form or manner.

Fire victims who have lost their documents, particularly for passports, can be assured of immediate assistance on this matter.

Filipinos affected by the fires may call 213-268-9990.

The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles wishes to remind Filipino associations to refrain from mentioning the Philippine Consulate General as an organizer or sponsor of fundraising activities in view of existing Philippine government regulations prohibiting Philippine foreign service posts from soliciting funds from the public in any form. Promotion materials, posters or fliers bearing the name of the Philippine Consulate General must have prior written consent from the Consul General prior to printing or distribution. However, the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles can assist Filipino organizations involved in disaster relief activities in terms of facilitating the flow of relief goods and resources, recommending appropriate forms of assistance to recipient organizations, matching the resources of donors to the requirements of identified recipient agencies, and disseminating vital information during emergency situations.
[photo: Philippine Consulate website]

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