New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines
Kiwis in the Philippines should make sure they’re registered
New Zealand Consul Heather Garven strongly encouraged New Zealand citizens travelling and living in the Philippines to register their details on Safetravel during a recent Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCHAM) forum on crisis management and business continuity planning.
If New Zealanders took the time to register they could be assured that, if an emergency was to occur, the New Zealand Embassy would do its best to contact them and see if any assistance could be provided, Garven said.
The embassy might also be the only source of information for family and friends at home in New Zealand who would be anxiously awaiting news about their loved ones.
Garven referred to media reports from previous emergencies such as the Chile earthquake in February, stating how many New Zealanders were known to be in the area and how many had been accounted for.
Only those people who had registered on Safetravel could be included in such reports. “If you don’t register, then we don’t necessarily know you’re here and we can’t contact you or let people at home know that you’re ok,” she said.
Garven also recommended attending a first aid training course, as there was no guarantee that the Philippines’ medical facilities would be able to cope with the number of casualties caused by a catastrophic event like a major earthquake.
The importance of ensuring travel documentation was in order, as well as the need to consider possible evacuation issues when family members held different nationality passports, were also mentioned. Adequate medical or travel insurance cover, regardless of whether the traveller was a resident or a tourist, was equally important, said Garven.
Up-to-date advice on what to do in a crisis is available from the New Zealand Embassy and Safetravel websites. Advice will be posted on the embassy homepage as soon as practicable should a crisis situation occur.
Further information on why registering is important and who uses the information, can be found here.