The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it will send more personnel to fast-track the repatriation of more than 100 overseas Filipinos displaced by Hurricane Irma.
"A five-member team from the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs led by Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola is en route to Washington, D.C. to oversee the rescue and repatriation of some 136 Filipinos stranded in the British Virgin Islands," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement on Monday.
Personnel from the Philippine consulates general in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago will also be joining the team from the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The team, currently in Puerto Rico, will be proceeding to Tortola to bring emergency relief supplies and make arrangements for repatriation of stranded Filipinos.
"We are exerting our best efforts to reach our kababayans in the British Virgin Islands and bring them all home as soon as possible," Cayetano added.
Cayetano also said the Philippine Embassy in the U.S. is in touch with leaders of the Filipino community in affected areas for updates.
Filipinos from different parts of the U.S. and Canada have also expressed their willingness to help their fellow Filipinos by planning fund and relief drives.
Irma barreled across the Florida Keys on Sunday morning and headed for the state's southwest coast with maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour, making it a Category 4 storm, the second worst on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
It left more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in south Florida were without power.