74 new COVID-19 cases reported among overseas Filipinos — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2020   •   324

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported 74 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), bringing the total number to 8,762 as of Wednesday (July 8).

Most of the new cases reported are in the Middle East, the DFA said. 

Meanwhile, the total number of OFWs under treatment has reached 2,932.

Nineteen new recoveries were also reported, bringing the total of OFWs who have recovered from the disease to 5,237.

However, 13 new deaths were recorded in the Middle East bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities among OFWs to 590.

With the resumption of international flight operations at NAIA Terminal 3 on Wednesday,  the DFA expects a rise in repatriations.

The agency assures its steadfast commitment to effectively facilitating and coordinating the safe return of Filipinos affected by the pandemic.

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UPDATE: 24 Filipinos injured, one missing in Beirut blast — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   August 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — In an advisory, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)  on Wednesday (August 5) said 10 of the 11 initially reported missing seafarers have been found safe and accounted for, as reported by the Philippine Embassy in Beirut. 

This recent development leaves one seafarer still missing, the DFA said. 

The 10 seafarers suffered minor injuries and are now with the management of the shipping company Abu Merhi Cruises at Ain el Mraiseh, Beirut.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Dodo Dulay confirmed the latest tally of injured Filipinos in the massive explosion is at 24.

He said most of the injured are household service workers. 

Except for one critical, all injured are in stable condition or with minor wounds, the official said.

Filipino fatalities remain at two and the search for the missing Filipino is ongoing.

The DFA assured that through the Philippine Embassy in Beirut, it will continue to ascertain the conditions of the seafarers and the other Filipinos who were reported hospitalized due to the incident..

The DFA also informs the public that all its Embassy personnel are safe, with no reported physical damage in its premises.

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)

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