Consul General Iric Arribas (2nd row, center) with the Cayman Island Filipino volunteers during their virtual oath taking ceremony.

21 May 2024
Embassy Press and Information Section

WASHINGTON D.C. –Thirty members of the Filipino community in the Cayman Islands have recently taken an oath to serve as volunteers dedicated to disaster management planning and implementation. These volunteers were signed up by the Cayman Bayanihan Filipino Community, led by its Founder and President Dionisio Sese Jr. , as part of their ongoing efforts to prepare the Filipino community in the Cayman Islands for natural disasters, particularly hurricanes and flooding which are prevalent in the Caribbean. Cayman Islands is home to more than 4,000 Filipinos, the largest concentration of Fiipinos in the Caribbean.

Earlier, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC took the initiative to virtually gather community leaders from across the Caribbean to promote disaster preparedness and involve the broader community. Leaders from the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, among others, have been meeting online regularly. During these meetings, they have made presentations of their respective draft contingency plans, which are reviewed collectively to facilitate the exchange of best practices and mutual learning. In addition to these collaborative efforts, the leaders reported that they are coordinating with their respective local disaster management agencies to ensure effective training and information dissemination. This coordination is crucial for equipping the volunteers with the necessary skills and knowledge to respond effectively in emergencies. Recently, they have made the next step of identifying volunteers from among the members of the Filipino community who will act as area coordinators and first responders.

Consul General Iric Arribas administered the oath to the Filipino volunteers in Cayman. He said, ” I express my profound gratitude to the new volunteers for your dedication and service. I praise your volunteerism and community service to enhance the safety and preparedness of your own community.” Community leaders from other organizations across the Caribbean also joined the virtual oath-taking to congratulate the volunteers for their commitment and service.

The Filipino community is encouraged to be always prepared for natural disasters.  Stay informed, monitor the weather, coordinate with your local community leaders or officials, and sign up for local alerts from the disaster management agency in your area.