by Marie Rea
Are you a Filipino national currently living in or visiting New South Wales (NSW)? Or, do you have a parent or parents born in the Philippines?
If you answer yes to any of these, it’s your chance to be counted!
The Philippine Consulate General in Sydney has launched a s survey of Filipinos and Filipino organisations in NSW to develop its database to use in the Consulate’s Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Program.
Consul General Anne J. Louis launched the survey last 17th of August 2011 at the Philippine Consulate in Sydney attended by various members of the Philippine-Australian media and representatives of the several social, business, religious and other organisations .
Consul General Louis stressed that the utmost cooperation of the community is needed for the survey to succeed so that appropriate data can be used for the government’s disaster and emergency programs.
Specifically, she said “the accurate information one provides will help the Consulate extend services in times of emergencies. ” Dual citizens are also welcome.
There are two ways by which one can participate in the survey. First is online through its website at http://philippineconsulate.com.au (just click on the survey on the home page and answer it similar to the Australian census but is shorter). Second is through hard copy which will be sent to various groups and organisations especially senior citizens groups, many members of which might not have access to the computer and the internet.
Outgoing Consul Anthony Reyes who helped worked initially on the project also said that the the information each respondent provides will be kept confidential and the survey is in a “secure website developed by computer professionals”. Other staff of the Philippine Consulate in Sydney also helped make the project a reality.
Consul Reyes said collated data on the following would be obtained: suburb and post code, age, occupation, visa type, percent naturalisation, and other relevant information.
Both officials stressed the importance of preserving the identities of respondents and no specific names of people would ever be sent to the Philippines. Only summarised data would be sent out to Manila (where the Department of Foreign Affairs has offices).
Those in the remote areas like the Outback are anticipated to be contacted through their relatives or by other organisations or through telephone, email or possibly snail mail/post.
Interested parties are urged to either download copies of the surveys for both Filipinos and Filipino organisations at the consulate’s website or fill up the survey there.The survey will run until the 30th of December 2011.
They have assured potential participants of confidentiality, again, through a face to face interview with this writer on video to be broadcast in Ang Kalatas’ website.
In a short interview in her office after the launch, she also mentioned that they have been coordinating with two other embassies- those in Bangkok and Seoul, Korea which are currently doing similar surveys.
Consul General Louis also urged those who attended the launch to help promote and spread the survey by “word of mouth.” She mentioned that the Australian government’s just concluded census results “would be compared too with the results of their survey but the former would be out in June 2012.” Hence, they had to do their own survey now.
She told this writer that they would be happy with a 50% response from the Filipino community for the project to be a success.
So if you’re a Filipino or has Filipino ancestry in New South Wales, log on to the website and be counted!
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