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Help for Filipinos in hurricane-hit British Virgin Islands rushed

THE Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., is exerting all efforts to help Filipino nationals affected by Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

The DFA said the Philippine Embassy in  US is “moving as quickly as it can to extend assistance to Filipinos in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and is exerting efforts to be effective in view of logistical challenges involved in the provision of basic supplies and arranging for the repatriation of our nationals to the Philippines.”
    
“We have been working 24/7 to secure the necessary clearances to safely convey our team into the BVI and facilitate the repatriation of Filipino nationals,” the DFA added.
    
BVI’s airport is in limited operation and commercial flights are temporarily suspended.
    
The BVI London Office has instructed anyone wishing to land aircraft and sail vessels in the territory to first seek permission from the Department of Disaster Management.
    
“We are also coordinating with third countries that may serve as landing points in order to ensure the repatriates' authorized entry into their territories. Coordination is needed as entry requirements have not been relaxed.
    
“We are deeply grateful to our contacts on the ground in BVI and Puerto Rico, and to the officials of the BVI, Puerto Rico, UK and US Governments, for their assistance and cooperation,” the DFA added.
    
A team from the Philippine Embassy in USA brought relief supplies to those affected by the storm and vowed to assist Filipinos who want to be repatriated.
    
DFA record showed there are 264 Filipinos in the island.