Filipinos in NZ dismayed at absence, slow response of PH govt on Christchurch quake

FILIPINOS affected by the earthquake in New Zealand Friday said they are in the dark with no available hotline  for distressed Filipinos or for enquiries of relatives and friends. Affected families are not feeling the presence and support of the Philippine government where it is badly needed.

“We are dismayed that the embassy is too slow and reactive. We can’t even find information on the situation of Filipinos at the Philippine embassy website. During the briefing by Canterbury Police District Commander Dave Cliff with international diplomats at 12.45 yesterday, Philippine diplomat presence was never mentioned in the meeting,” George Misa, Migrante Aotearoa Spokesperson lamented.

According to Marty de Lima, Migrante Aotearoa coordinator in Christchurch, “We have not seen Philippine embassy officials in the affected communities and there is not even a hotline where the affected families can avail of information, get updates and seek support from Philippine authorities. We believe this is crucialespecially for those who lost homes and need immediate relocation.”

“We are calling the attention of the Philippine embassy to set up the necessary systems and do its job to assist affected Filipinos in Christchurch,” the group stated.

The group said  they havr been working with other Filipino community organisations in Christchurch to support the victims. The group has been receiving calls on what to do and where to go. Although majority of Migrante members are based in Auckland they are willing to accommodate distressed Filipinos to move to Wellington or Auckland for the meantime.

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