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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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11 more Filipinos to arrive home from Libya

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019

More Filipinos in war-torn Libya will be repatriated to the Philippines, Philippine Chargè d’Affaires Elmer Cato said on Friday.

In a post on Twitter, Cato said 11 more Filipinos have been evacuated from the Libyan capital of Tripoli, bringing the number of Filipinos aided by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials to 55 since the latest conflict erupted last month.

“Another 11 of our kababayan were evacuated from Tripoli this morning by @PhinLibya, bringing to 55 the number of Filipinos assisted by @DFAPHL and @doleph in returning to the Philippines since latest conflict in Libya broke out on 4 April,” Cato said.

The DFA recently enforced a mandatory evacuation of Filipino workers in Tripoli and other areas within a 100-kilometer radius from the capital.

READ: Alert level 4 raised in Libya – DFA

Cato earlier called on Filipinos working in Tripoli to heed their advice to get out of the harm’s way by availing of the repatriation program they offer.

He said the ability of the DFA officials to respond to calls for assistance by Filipinos in distress becomes more difficult or even impossible to carry out as the fighting gets closer to the capital.

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Malacañang: Recall of PH officials over trash spat, a warning to Canada

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Canadian trash illegally exported to the Philippines (left) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right)

MANILA, Philippines – The order of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to recall the Philippine ambassador and consuls to Canada is a warning that the diplomatic relations between the two countries may be severed over a garbage spat, the Malacañang said on Thursday.

This was after the Canadian government missed the May 15 deadline to take back tons of trash it sent to Manila several years ago.

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the recall order was to “maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship bound there.”

READ: PH recalls envoys to Canada over missed trash shipment deadline

“The fact alone that Secretary Locsin has recalled our diplomats there shows that not only are we serious, we are already warning them, we’re gonna severe diplomatic relations,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters at a press briefing.

Panelo added that the recall order for envoys aims to urge the Canadian government to expedite the garbage shipment process.

“That order of the recall is to persuade them to make it fast. The more the delay, the more personnel will be coming back,” he said.

Panelo on Wednesday said there might be a slight delay in shipping out the Canadian garbage due to the processing of documents. He had then surmised that the shipment of the trash might begin in “one to two weeks.”

The Canadian government earlier agreed to pay for the expenses in shipping out all 69 waste containers it had dumped in the Philippines in 2013 following a stern warning issued by President Rodrigo Duterte last month.

READ: Finally! Canada agrees to shoulder return of trash shipment

The President had warned he would declare “war” against Canada if it fails to retrieve its illegally exported trash.

He was referring to 103 containers of Canadian mixed wastes that arrived in Manila in batches from 2013 to 2014. The trash from around 26 containers have been dumped in a private landfill in Tarlac.

READ: Canada vows to resolve trash dumping issue after Duterte’s war threat

Ottawa earlier assured Manila it is working on resolving the issue “to ensure the material is processed in an environmentally responsible way.”

There are more than 837,000 Filipinos residing and working in Canada, based on a 2016 census. Most of them are located in Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Some Filipinos there have appealed to the Philippine government to reconsider its move against Canada so as not to jeopardize the relations between the two nations.

Malacañang, however, assured that the government will continue to protect the interest of Filipinos abroad no matter what the outcome of its actions will be.

“Whatever the consequence, this government will be protective of the interest of our countrymen in any part of the world,” Panelo said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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DFA to stop issuing authentication certificates starting May 14

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has advised the public that it will no longer issue authentication certificates starting Tuesday next week.

This is in accordance with the Apostille Convention on Authentication of Documents that will take effect in the Philippines on May 14, 2019.

“After authentication by the DFA, there is no more need for authentication (legalization) by the concerned Foreign Embassies or Consulates General if the country or territory of destination of the authenticated document is already a member of the Apostille Convention,” DFA said in an advisory Tuesday (May 7).

Instead, the agency will affix an “Apostille” or a certificate giving a public document a legal effect for use in other countries.

Meanwhile, documents issued in Apostille member countries and territories (except Austria, Finland, Germany and Greece) which will be used in the Philippines no longer need authentication from Philippine Embassy or Consulate General once Apostillized.

The DFA clarified, however, that public documents coming from countries and territories not part of the Apostille Convention need to undergo the previous authentication process.

READ: List of Apostille-contracting parties

“Documents still have to be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General before they can be used in the Philippines,” the advisory said.

“Also, there is still a need for authentication (legalization) by the concerned Foreign Embassies or Consulates General if the country of destination of the authenticated document is not yet a member of the Apostille Convention,” it added.

Authentication fees will remain at P100 for regular processing and P200 for expedited processing per document. – Marje Pelayo

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