Fil-Ams to Aquino: Do More to Save Filipinos in Japan

For Immediate Release

Mach 20, 2011


NAFCON National Office

Fil-Ams to Aquino: Do More to Save Filipinos in Japan

“The Aquino administration so far has failed to effectively assist Filipinos in Japan. The President should use all available resources to ensure the refuge and safe return of our kababayan. Up to now no emergency money has been allocated for relief and the administration has proposed only a single C-130 military plane to fly our distressed Filipinos home,” said Fr. Benjamin Alforque president of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON).

Currently, more than three hundred thousand Filipinos reside in Japan, with five thousand living in the most devastated areas. Last year Filipinos in Japan sent $US883 million in remittance to the Philippines, the most from any Asian country. Fr. Alforque continued, “Considering the tremendous amount of money Filipinos in Japan contribute to keeping the Philippines afloat, it is unconscionable to know that Aquino has done so little to help our kababayan.”

On March 11th, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan also causing a 28 foot tsunami to further ravage hard hit regions. Later that day several nuclear reactor containment units failed, making the threat of radiation contamination eminent. Up to now the death toll exceeded 16,000 with many areas left without electricity or proper shelter, food, and water.

NAFCON encourages Filipinos in America to come to the aid of the Japanese people by making monetary donations to trust worthy sources that can ensure the money goes to people in the most need. “In our experience with catastrophes such as Typhoon Ondoy, it is very important to coordinate relief efforts with organizations working directly with people on ground because there are some, including government agencies, who try to profit from relief efforts,” said Fr. Alforque. In many relief efforts, NAFCON coordinates with Migrante International, the largest organization of overseas Filipino workers in the world. NAFCON will release information soon regarding Migrante organizations in Japan that can appropriately handle monetary relief donations. ###

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The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns [NAFCON] is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. It was launched in San Jose California in 2003. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.

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