DFA cautions Filipinos vs travel to Kashmir amid India-Pakistan tensions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 1, 2019   •   3974

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on Thursday, advised Filipinos in India and Pakistan to stay vigilant and avoid travels to the Kashmir region.

This is amid rising tensions between the two countries which stemmed from a suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based militants that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in the Indian-controlled Kashmir on February 14.

Pakistan and India launched airstrikes against each other and exchanged fire in dozens of locations.

The DFA expressed hope “that India and Pakistan will exercise restraint.”

According to the DFA, there are no Filipinos working, residing in Kashmir. But there are seven Filipino military observers serving with the United Nations Military Observer Group In India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).

“All seven are safe along with the approximately 1,780 members of the Filipino Community in Pakistan and 1,167 others in India,” said the DFA in a statement.

The Foreign Affairs Department advises Filipinos to contact
the Philippine Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan at +92 333 524 4762 or the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi, India at (+91) 99 1079 7014 for emergency situations. —Aileen Cerrudo with reports from Reuters

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

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2020

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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Marikina City to shorten quarantine period for returning OFW residents

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020

The Marikina City government announced that returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are residents of the city will have shorter quarantine period.

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said residents who are OFW returnees will no longer have to undergo the 14-day quarantine period but instead will immediately be transported to the city from the airport for a one or two-day quarantine.

“Pansamantala, isa o dalawang araw, iku-quarantine sila sa Marikina Hotel doon sa ating quarantine facility at doon iti-test na rin sila at isa-swab, (They will be quarantined at the Marikina Hotel, our quarantine facility, for one or two days. They will be tested there),” he said.

Since Marikina has its own testing center, Teodoro said the OFWs don’t need to wait for long periods of time to be able to go home to their families. In case any of them tests positive for COVID-19, the Marikina Mayor assured they will be given immediate medical attention.

According to the latest reports of the Marikina government, 264 returning OFWs that arrived since April are from Marikina City, 161 of them have already received assistance from the local government.

The local government aims to implement the new quarantine protocol by next week. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

31 countries lift inbound border restrictions on Filipino travelers — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2020

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.

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