Ambassador Lopez Visits Disaster-hit Sendai City
Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez led the most recent consular mission of the Embassy in Sendai City to personally check on the conditions of the Filipinos in the area and to bring relief goods to them in the light of the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami which struck the northeastern region of Japan.
Ambassador Lopez left Tokyo early morning of Wednesday, 30 March 2011 and arrived in Sendai City at around 10 in the morning (Japan time) accompanied by Consul General Sulpicio Confiado, Third Secretary and Vice Consul Ryan Pondoc, DFA Office of the Secretary Principal Assistant Andre Peter Estanislao and Defense Attaché Col. Chito Silbol.
The team brought with them 100 plastic bags of relief goods, 50 futons and blankets, 50 cases of bottled water and other relief items.
Ambassador Lopez and the Embassy team visited Wakabayashi in the morning, one of the coastal towns hit by the twin disasters, to gain first-hand information of the damage caused by the earthquake and the tsunami. There are about 31 Filipinos in Wakabayashi.
He also met with some 70 members of the Filipino community at the Sendai International Center (SIC) lobby to discuss the condition of the Filipinos in the area and to ascertain other assistance needed by the community.
SIC is temporarily closed due to the recent earthquake and tsunami. However, SIC officials gave their permission to the Embassy team to use the lobby as venue for the meeting.
After the meeting, Ambassador Lopez lead the Embassy team in distributing the relief goods to the Filipinos.
Ambassador Lopez stated that the Embassy will maintain its policy of fetching Filipinos in hard-hit areas if they need help or if they express their desires to be relocated to Tokyo.
He said the Embassy will continue to intensify its efforts to locate and assist Filipinos in the affected areas, including bringing food and other supplies. Ambassador Lopez likewise stated that the Philippines stands ready to assist in Japan’s reconstruction efforts.
The Philippine Embassy will also continue to ensure the safety and will stay to serve the needs of Filipinos in Japan.
(Photos by Mr. Andre Peter Estanislao, Principal Assistant of the DFA Office of the Secretary)