PH response team brings relief to Filipinos on storm-ravaged US Virgin Islands

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Embassy Response Team in Puerto Rico gathers emergency supplies for Filipinos on US Virgin Islands. DFA HANDOUT PHOTO

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Philippine Embassy here dispatched a separate Embassy Response Team to deliver emergency supplies to Filipinos on the US Virgin Islands, one of the areas ravaged by hurricane Irma, according to Chargé d’Affaires Patrick A. Chuasoto.

In a report to Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano, Chuasoto said the team was expected to arrive on the US Virgin Islands on September 14 to distribute bottled water, rice and non-perishable food stuffs, medicines and antibacterial solution, and portable energy sources. Based on the Embassy’s official records, there are an estimated 271 Filipino nationals in the US Virgin Islands.

On nearby British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Embassy Response Team has started to distribute vouchers to enable kababayans to procure necessities, as the banks in the territory are yet to resume normal operations.

The DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., USA, Philippine Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, Philippine Overseas Labor and Welfare Office-DC, and the response teams, are working non-stop to give aid and facilitate the repatriation of Filipinos from the devastated Caribbean islands.

As of this writing, about 160 Filipinos in the BVI, Anguilla, and Saint Martin/Sint Maarten have sought repatriation assistance from the Philippine Government. The list of repatriates is updated daily as conditions on the ground also change.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. continues to monitor the situation in Turks and Caicos Islands, and the US southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina, which were affected by Irma in the past few days.

Those who want to share or find information about the condition of their family members and friends in the abovementioned places may reach the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. through the following contact information:

• Emergency hotline: +1 (202) 368 2767
• Email addresses: consular@phembassy-us.org / atn@phembassy-us.org
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/philippinesusa
• Twitter: @philippinesusa

Philippine Response Team distributes vouchers to Filipinos on British Virgin Islands for the procurement of basic supplies. DFA HANDOUT PHOTO