A letter to the editor
Dear friends in the media,
Please find below a statement from the Association of Filipino Students in Sendai which was first posted in our facebook.
We in AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the people finds it necessary to get the immediate response and assistance for our compatriots who are in a dangerous situation and most trying times right now in Japan.
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.
National CHairperson, AGHAM
We, the association of Filipino students in Sendai would like to express our deep rage and great disappointment with the kind of response we are receiving from the embassy of the Philippines here in Sendai. We demand the government of the Philippines to utilize all possible resources to evacuate and secure the safety of our Filipino citizens immediately!
Below are grounds that deem to be inappropriate:
Time of Response:
March 11, 2011 – 9.0 magnitude earthquake followed by tsunami struck and devastated Miyagi-ken and other northeastern part of Japan as early as 2:46 in the afternoon. The first team from our embassy arrived on the night of March 13, 2011, the time when other foreign nationals are starting to evacuate. In any emergency situation, actions should be taken with great sense of emergency. What we observed from our embassy’s action does not align with emergency response protocol. Time is very critical as the Nuclear Power Plants in Fukushima show a continuous sign of failure. Three days have already passed and our Filipino community in Miyagi and Fukushima-ken are still uncertain of the “rescue operation”.
Emergency Response Team:
With the magnitude of the damages and the threat we are exposed to, we expect a strong team of experts consisting of diplomats, medical personnel, psychology specialist and other experts to come and asses the area. Also, we even expected them to provide us with food supply as they have promised when they first came in contact with us. Instead, we were handed over to the media without proper briefing. The first day of “rescue” is nothing but an illustration of unpreparedness and lack of skills in decision making. The team just came in Sendai without concrete contingency plan and data, instead asked the students on how to move on with the rescue effort. We feel the lack of sincerity and initiative from the “team” as they rely from the decisions coming from the distressed victims. Coordination is inefficient, decisions uncertain.
Is this the kind of people our government hires in this most critical situation?
Is this the only assistance the government of the Philippines can do? WE DEMAND AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE FROM OUR GOVERNMENT. WE DEMAND A SENSE OF URGENCY IN TIMES OF EMERGENCY . WE DEMAND THE GOVERNMENT TO EXHAUST ALL MEANS TO SURPASS THE INCOMPETENT ACTIONS OF THE “PHILIPPINE CONTINGENCY” HERE IN JAPAN! ACT NOW!
Apostol, Lea Necitas