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

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019

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

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Search continues for two Filipino tourists missing in Thailand — DFA

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that two Filipino tourists went missing at Freedom Beach in Phuket, Thailand on Tuesday (July 17).

The DFA through the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok said it is actively monitoring the case after the Royal Thai Police and a group of Filipino tourists notified them of the incident.

According to Ambassador to Thailand Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon, the Embassy immediately made representations with the Thai Police and coordinated with the Filipinos upon receipt of the report.

According to reports, the two Filipinos were at the beach playing in the sea during a heavy storm, when they were swept away and have not been seen since then.

The Embassy assured rescue operations by authorities is ongoing.

The Embassy continues to coordinate with the authorities on the case, as well as respond to the needs of the Filipino family and friends of the two missing Filipinos.

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Three Filipino tourists jailed in Hong Kong

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Courtesy : Photoville International

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed giving assistance to three Filipino tourists who were sentenced to five-month imprisonment in Hong Kong for using forged documents.

According the DFA, the three call center employees were involved in a supposed “free Hong Kong tour” which turned out to be a scam.

They opened bank accounts, specifically with Bank of China and Standard Chartered Bank, using falsified documents.

Despite successfully opening an account, authorities suspected that the accounts were to be used for money laundering activities and so arrested the three when they returned to the bank.

“Consul General Antonio Morales reported that the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong has been providing in-kind support and legal advice to the three Filipinos, including jail visits to ascertain their condition,” the DFA said.

Sentenced on February 18, the three Filipinos pleaded guilty to two counts of “using a false instrument” before the Hong Kong Magistrates’ Courts.

For this, Morales said the three are expected to be released in March after serving a reduced sentence for admitting the offense.

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More than 300 distressed OFW take shelter in PH Embassy in Dubai

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Philippine Embassy in Dubai is currently taking custody of more than 300 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

Almost all of them are holders of either visit or tourist visa who took a chance of looking for a job in Dubai.

Some of them are victims of illegal recruiters. Some had a job but their contracts have expired so there are overstays. Some quit their jobs because of health reasons and had no choice but to run to the Embassy for support.

“Naging polisiya naman ng ating konsulado na kung may kababaihan na nangangailangan ng tulong at pagkalinga or shelter, (It has been the policy of our Consulate to assist our kababayans especially the women if they need help or shelter,) then our office or POLO center is open to assist them anytime,” noted Labor Attaché II Felicitas Bay.

“Ang ating operations dito (ay) 24 hours, (We operate 24 hours a day,)” she added.

Wards at POLO Center can only accommodate up to 120 individuals but because of the influx of distressed OFWs, hallways and some of the staff offices have been turned into bedrooms.

“In the meantime, na nandito sila gumagawa naman kami ng paraan to solve their cases, (In the meantime while they’re here, we find ways to solve their cases,)” the POLO Official said.

“At the same time, gumagawa din tayo ng paraan na (maging) maganda ang kanilang kalusugan, maganda ang kanilang pananaw sa buhay, at maganda rin ang kanilang kaalaman, (We are finding ways to care for their health, to change their perspective in life and equip them with the knowledge they need,)” she added.

On June 23, 23 distressed OFWs were repatriated to the Philippines with the help of the Embassy.

While the OFWs are in the POLO Center, the Labor office is providing them training on how to put up their businesses once they return to the Philippines. – with reports from Annabelle Maravilla / UNTV Dubai

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