DFA to Implement Contingency Plan in Japan and Bahrain

02_20_2011_DC Bahrain Protest015.jpgImage by messay.com
A March 18, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs
Committed to ensuring the safety of Filipinos in the light of the earthquake and tsunami, which struck the northeast region of Japan and increased tensions in Bahrain, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario instructed the dispatch of augmentation teams to assist the Philippine Embassies in Tokyo and Manama in ensuring the safety of Filipinos there.
A two-man team headed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Special and Ocean Concerns Jose Brillantes and DFA Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs Executive Director Maynard Montealegre flew to Japan Friday morning to help assess the situation on the ground and to revalidate the contingency plan to make it more efficient.
Meanwhile, a team composed of DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) Executive Director Ricardo Endaya and DFA-OUMWA Principal Assistant Kristine Bautista left for Bahrain early Friday morning for the same purpose.
The teams will assist the Embassies in intensifying the existing efforts in place to ensure the safety and to serve the needs of the Filipinos there.
Philippine Embassy officers and staff in Tokyo, as well as those in the Consulate General in Osaka and the Honorary Consulates in Sapporo, Morioka, Nagoya and Naha, continue to reach out to Filipino community members and to quickly respond to requests for assistance or information.  These are on a 24-hour operation to immediately respond to the calls of Filipino nationals.
The Embassy and the Consulates also continue to maintain close contact with city and prefectural governments, and have full personnel complements to provide assistance.
In his telephone conversations with Secretary Del Rosario, Ambassador Lopez said, “we are fully committed to remain here to serve the needs of Filipinos in Japan.”
The DFA activated a Crisis Management Center for families who have relatives in Japan. The hotline numbers at the DFA-OUMWA’s Crisis Management Center are 834-4646 and 834-4580. Requests for information may also be sent through e-mail address dfaoumwa.cmc@gmail.com.
In Japan, 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 email through: emergency@philembassy.net.
The consulates’ hotlines are as follows: (06) 6910-7881 for the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, (011) 614-8090 for the Honorary Consulate in Sapporo, and (019) 629-9139 for the Honorary Consulate in Morioka.
In Bahrain, the Embassy is operating 24/7 to address the concerns of Filipinos in Bahrain.  It is in constant contact with Filipino community members, and the Embassy officers and staff have disseminated their mobile numbers to them for immediate information and coordination.
The Bahraini government has imposed a 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew in areas where protests have been held.  This was then shortened to 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
The Embassy earlier urged Filipinos to restrict its movements to the necessary, stock up on basic necessities, have important documents ready and avoid joining or being in areas of protest.
It has also asked Filipinos to remain calm, actively monitor ongoing developments, keep their communications lines open with the Embassy and their designated community coordinators, and inform the Embassy or Filipino community coordinators assigned to their area of their whereabouts.
As early as February 17, the Embassy has closely monitored developments in the country, and has met with the Filipino community leaders in the country to orient them of the Embassy’s contingency plans.
The Embassy in Manama’s hotline numbers are: (973) 17721234, (973) 17740951 and (973) 17721908.