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27 more Pinoys fetched from quake-hit areas in Japan

MANILA, Mar 21 (Mabuhay) – At least 27 more Filipinos were fetched Sunday from two areas hit hard by the March 11 quake in Japan, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

The DFA said a Philippine consular mission fetched the Filipinos, who said they want to be relocated to Tokyo, from Sendai City and Fukushima Nishi Interchange.

“The bus, with a seating capacity for 50 people, also fetched 26 Filipinos – 21 adults and 5 minor children – and two Japanese nationals who have expressed their desire to be relocated to Tokyo in the light of the nuclear emergency resulting from the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country last week … The bus also fetched one Filipino national at the Fukushima Nishi Interchange,” the DFA said in a news release Sunday night.

Heading the consular mission were Third Secretary and Vice Consul Bryan Dexter Lao and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Ryan Pondoc.

DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Administration Special Assistant Elmer Cato and DFA Office of the Secretary Principal Assistant Andre Peter Estanislao accompanied the team.

Not joining the team was Third Secretary and Vice Consul Christian de Jesus, the team leader of the consular mission which headed to the Kuriyama City Hall and the Iwaki City Hall Sunday to fetch Filipinos there.

The DFA said the Embassy team arrived in Sendai City, part of Miyagi prefecture, at 2 p.m. Sunday (Japan time; 1 p.m. Manila time).

It brought relief goods such as bananas, canned goods, bread, rice balls, mango juice, and chocolate milk drinks for the Filipino community there. The relief goods were brought to Sendai Catholic Church to be distributed to Filipinos in the area by the Filipino community leaders.

The bus departed Sendai City at 5 p.m. (Japan time; 4 p.m. in Manila).

Upon its return to Tokyo, the Filipinos will be brought to Wesley Center in Minami Aoyama, a relocation center arranged by the Embassy.

The DFA said the bus was expected to arrive in Tokyo at 11 p.m. (Japan time; 10 p.m. in Manila) Sunday.

With the mission, the Embassy’s four consular missions so far have relocated some 112 Filipino nationals.

These Filipinos are temporarily housed at a Catholic Church in Kichijogi, the Lighthouse Ministry in Yokohama City, the Franciscan Church in Roppongi in Tokyo and the Wesley Center at Minami Aoyama.

Earlier, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez stated the Embassy will send more buses to the area if necessary.

The Philippine Embassy is there to ensure the safety and to serve the needs of Filipinos in Japan.

Hotline numbers at the DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs’ Crisis Management Center are 834-4646 and 834-4580. Requests for information may also be sent through e-mail address dfaoumwa.cmc@gmail.com.

Filipinos may contact the following Embassy numbers in cases of emergency: (03)5562-1573, (03)5562-1574, (03)5562-1570, (03)5562-1590. The Embassy can also be reached by e-mail through: emergency@philembassy.net. (MNS)

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