Saturday, March 19, 2011

48 Filipinos missing in quake-hit Japan

Of the 4,500 Filipinos in the northern part of Japan, 48 remain unaccounted for according to the Website of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, following the 9-magnitude earthquake that flattened the northeast area of Honshu Island on 11 March.
Among the missing is a five-month-old, in a report by Malaya.
The 124 Filipino nurses and 249 caregivers in the Tohoku area were reported to be safe, the Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration said.
The Embassy may be reached through their 24-hour hotline numbers (03)5562-1570, (03)5562-1577 and (03)5562-1590 or through email:
There had been no reported fatalities to this time, said the report.
According to emissary Manolo Manuel Lopez, the Embassy is waiving the processing fees for Filipinos in the four prefectures that were heavily hit by the disaster: Fukushima, Ibaraki, Iwate and Miyagi in a report by ABS-CBN.
Lopez added that the government could not shoulder the travel expenses of Filipinos who want to return from Tokyo to Manila.
Earlier today, the ANC reported that the Embassy has waived overseas employment certificate fee, which means overseas Filipino workers will not have to pay travel tax and terminal fee.
It was also reported that some foreign governments have advised their citizens within the 80-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi to evacuate the area.
An additional two more buses will be deployed today to fetch more Philippine nationals from Fukushima to Tokyo. This will reach out to between 100 and 120 people.
Six Filipino sailors returned to Manila from the devastated country.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said on 16 March that pending Tokyo's confirmation, the country will be sending a C-130 plane to the disaster-hit country to bring relief goods like water and noodles. Noodles?
"For those who would want to leave Japan but has no means, the C-130 could be used to bring them home," Lacierda said.
The plane is expected to land at the Narita International Airport and will wait for Filipinos who want to be repatriated although there is no schedule yet.
Japan is currently at Alert Level 2, which means that the state is allowing for voluntary repatriation.
If the alert were raised to the highest, which is 3, the repatriation becomes the government's responsibility, according to Department of Foreign Affairs acting Secretary Albert del Rosario.
Del Rosario further said that the Philippine government is prepared to shoulder the travel of expenses of the 300,000 Filipinos in Japan, 200,000 of whom live in the capital city in the event the alert were raised to 3.
A bus sent by the Embassy carrying 42 Filipinos from Sendai arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday. They are seeking refuge at a Catholic Church in Kichijogi.
Fr. Resty Ogsimer from the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo, posted these messages on Facebook, "With your prayers and support, the 43 evacuees, 23 adults and 20 children are all okay. Their meals are settled until dinner tomorrow. Thanks to all who have volunteered and shared their resources and time. In the meantime, we need volunteers who speak Japanese who can entertain and play with the children. Thank you!
"For those who are willing to donate money via Postal Services, here is the account: Post Office Account, Number: 00150-5-120640, Catholic Tokyo International Center Sanjokai- Jishin. This is free of charge. Any amount will do as long as it is from the heart. Thank you!" from Fr. Ogsimer.
Watch the attached YouTube video showing the negotiations between Filipino residents in Sendai and Embassy officials in the thick of the action.

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