The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai has been quick to reach out and help provide assistance to the Dubai-based Filipino whose house was engulfed by the recent fire in Satwa on September 24.
Gina Fe Sanico, 34, told The Filipino Times that Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes called her not long after the incident to ask if they need any assistance and if their passports were still intact.
“Tumawag din po mismo sa amin si Consul General Cortes para i-ask kung ano ang need namin o kung okay lang ba ang mga passport namin,” she said.
Sanico said the blaze started at around 5 AM in their villa in Al Badaa, Satwa due to a defected electrical outlet where they used to plug in their microwave. The smoke went all the way to the ceiling, and reached a gas tank two meters away, resulting in an explosion and further spread of the fire.
She said the Indian living in their building, who was always going to the gym, woke up at around 5 AM to the sight of the smoke and fire. Knowing that they would have been trapped, she said he and his brothers immediately knocked on their door and helped them quickly get out of the villa—just in time before the said gas tank exploded.
The OFW said that in their haste, they ran without any footwear and with only the clothes on their back. Even the balikbayan box they were supposed to send to the Philippines had been engulfed by the fire.
Sanico said someone from the Consulate’s Assistance-to-National department called her to ask for details and to have them fill up a form for cash assistance.
Consul General Cortes reiterated the importance of coordinating with the community to reach out to Filipinos who may need assistance, such as what happened to Sanico.
“The coordination between the Consulate and the community is necessary as we reach out to our kabayans who may need any assistance. Rendering support and extending assistance to our fellow Filipinos in times of crisis or in good is always a partnership between everyone in our society,” he said.
She also expressed her deep gratitude to the many Filipino groups who donated goods and essential items to her and her family, adding that they received so much assistance that they had to donate some to others in need.
“Ang daming dumagdag na tulong even today, may mga calls and messages pa rin. Around 25 Filipino groups po ang nagpaabot ng tulong, bukod sa iba pang galing sa mga friends and strangers,” she said.
The OFW said that all the assistance they received were equally divided to all the 20 victims of the fire, as well as to the Indians who helped them get out of their burning house.
“Sa lahat ng mga nagpaabot ng tulong, maraming maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat! God bless us all!” she said.