31 countries lift inbound border restrictions on Filipino travelers — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2020   •   551

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced that 31 countries have already lifted the inbound border restrictions on Filipino travelers subject to medical protocols.

The latest additions to the list of countries that have recently opened their borders include Bahamas, Egypt, Ethiopia, and UAE.

This is out of 177 nations and territories that declared travel bans due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

However, the DFA said a total of 68 countries and territories still do not allow entry into their borders such as Cuba, Haiti, Palau, Timor Leste, France, and most countries in the Middle East/Africa, among others.

About 78 countries/territories, despite inbound border closures, give entry exemptions to Filipinos who are citizens of the destination country and returning residents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with work visas and contracts, diplomatic or UN passport holders going to post or on official travel.

The new update under this category is Macau SAR, with imposed medical protocols.

Likewise, the DFA said the updated list confirms that 138 countries now allow Filipinos to return to the Philippines, subject to flight availability and other special arrangements.

New countries which have allowed departures for the Philippines include the mentioned countries which also recently opened their inbound restrictions.

Meanwhile, with the recent announcement of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on the resumption of international flight operations at NAIA Terminal 3 beginning 12:01 a.m. of July 8, the DFA reiterated that travel restrictions can change without prior public notice.

The DFA advises all travelers to always check ahead of travel dates with the airlines that will be used as well as with relevant embassies or consulates before departure or before booking a ticket.

No reports yet of Filipinos injured, killed in massive Beirut explosion

Marje Pelayo   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Philippine Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon has confirmed that no Filipinos have been reported injured or killed so far in the massive explosion that happened on August 4.

The powerful explosion which occurred at the Port of Beirut resulted in several fatalities and dozens of injuries as well as widespread damage to properties throughout the city.

Lebanon’s health ministry said the death toll has risen to at least 50 while authorities are still investigating the cause of the blast. 

The Philippine Embassy calls on Filipinos in Beirut to reach out for assistance following the explosion. 

#PAKIUSAPTumawag lamang sa mga sumusunod na numero

Posted by Philippine Embassy in Lebanon on Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Duterte admin to pursue friendly bilateral relations with Malaysia despite Sabah dispute

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration will pursue the country’s friendly bilateral relations with Malaysia.

This was the response of Malacañang after Malaysia announced its intention to summon the Philippine’s ambassador in Malaysia over the controversial remarks of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin.

On July 27, Locsin posted in his tweet that “Sabah is not in Malaysia” in reaction to a post by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hisshammudin Hussein countered Locsin saying his comment was ‘irresponsible’, whereafter he summoned the Philippine ambassador.

Locsin stressed that he is asserting the Philippines’ rights over Sabah just as the country is defending and asserting the rights of the Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea.

Locsin replied that he will also summon the Malaysian ambassador in Manila on the matter.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque meanwhile said that despite the unresolved territorial dispute on Sabah, the country will maintain friendly bilateral relations with its Southeast Asian neighbor.

READ: DFA denies giving up claim on Sabah

“This unresolved territorial dispute, as you correctly said has been dormant […] It has not affected our friendly bilateral relations and we will definitely maintain this friendly bilateral relations despite and in spite of this unresolved dispute,” he said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DFA main building in Roxas Blvd. reopens July 30

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reopened its main building in Roxas Boulevard Pasay City on Thursday (30 July) following the Department’s review of public health and safety measures currently in place and the adoption of additional measures for the protection of its personnel.

For updates regarding services and announcements, the Department encourages the public to visit any of the DFA’s media platforms: DFA website, Facebook page or Twitter.

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