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Filo-Aussies in dire straits if survey fails

Michelle Baltazar

Poor response to a community survey organised by the Philippine Consulate could leave many Filipino-Australians vulnerable in the event of a disaster or emergency.

The online survey, which is focused on Filipinos living in NSW, has so far been completed by around 1,000 Filipinos.

This is a fraction of the 20,000-plus Filipino-Australians living in and around the western suburbs, including Blacktown and surrounds.

Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis has called on the different Filipino associations to urge their members to participate. She estimates there should be at least 4,000 Filipinos who can and should fill the survey, judging by association membership numbers.

The survey as it stands, with a sample data of around 1,000 participants, is inadequate for what the consulate hopes to do.

First, the survey will be used as input to the Consulate’s Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Program, allowing them to extend their services to Filipinos in NSW in case of emergency.

The most recent case where such a database would have been helpful is the Queensland floods that affected the community in the area.

Accurate and up-to-date information on name and address details would have helped the community there to galvanise volunteers and provide speedy assistance, particularly to those in remote areas.

In NSW, while flush floods are unlikely in city areas, the survey can help save lives in cases of missing persons, fire or hailstorms and other disasters.

Second, a comprehensive survey would also help the Consulate finetune its consular services. For example, Consul General Louis said they can organise events based on database info.

The survey is available on the website (http://www.philippineconsulate.com.au/home.html) and takes less than a minute to complete. The questions simply require the respondent to provide their basic name and address details, as well as citizenship status.

All answers are kept private and confidential.

To complete the survey, click this link: http://www.philippineconsulate.com.au/component/rsform/form/6-survey-of-filipinos-in-new-south-wales.html

Associations can also submit their information: http://www.philippineconsulate.com.au/component/rsform/form/6-survey-of-filipinos-in-new-south-wales.html

Contact the Philippine Consulate on (02) 9262 7377 should you wish to provide your details by phone.


Photo credit: Darryl O'Brien

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