The Philippine Embassy is calling on several Filipino organizations, associations and individuals to join the volunteer groups to clean up oil from polluted beaches in various locations in Tauranga. It is suggested that they form themselves into ‘PINOY BRIGADES’ to demonstrate our time-honoured and well-known spirit of “bayanihan” (volunteerism and coming together) with the communities in the affected areas in the midst of the massive operations to save the environment arising from the unfortunate accident of the MV Rena at the Astrolabe Reef on 5 October 2011.
Filipinos in Tauranga, Hamilton, Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo and other parts in New Zealand may wish to be part of more than 5,000 volunteers who are registered with the Maritime New Zealand.
Information on the requirements and procedures for volunteers can be obtained from telephone number 0800645774. Online registration can be made at www.boprc.govt.nz/oilspillvolunteers/. There is also the Wildlife Response at telephone number 0800333771.
Contact persons regarding this matter at the Philippine Embassy is Minister and Consul Giovanni Palec and Cultural Officer Liza Jane Estalilla who can be reached at telephone numbers (04)4729848, (04)4729921, 0220594697, 0220594700 and email addresses email@example.com.
"Let’s all continue to show our utmost care, compassion and concern with the people of New Zealand during these very challenging times and in the face of the overwhelming tasks to save the beaches, marine life, birds and the maritime environment of the country. It is during this extremely difficult situation that we Filipinos can help make a distinctive difference in and tangible contributions to the on-going concerted efforts to counter the threats to the seas and landscapes of New Zealand. " Palec added.