DFA consular services in Isabela suspended on Friday due to TS ‘Ramon’

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019   •   334

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday announced that consular services in its office in Isabela will be suspended on Friday, Nov. 15.

In an advisory, the DFA said the suspension of consular operations is in anticipation of the possible landfall of Tropical Storm ‘Ramon.’

The department added that this is also pursuant to the order of the provincial government to suspend work in government and private offices, as well as, classes in all levels in public and private schools to ensure the public’s safety.

Applicants with confirmed appointments who will be unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations will be accommodated until Friday, 13 December 2019 during regular office hours,” the DFA said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier said ‘Ramon’ is expected to make landfall anytime during the weekend.

In its 5 p.m. update, PAGASA said ‘Ramon’ was last spotted 500 kilometers east of Baler, Aurora, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

The storm is moving north northwest at the speed of 15 kph.

Catanduanes remains under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 2 while the eastern part of Isabela, including Divilacan, Palanan and Dinapigue; Northern Aurora, including Dilasag, Casiguran, and Dinalungan; Polillo Island, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, and Albay are under signal no. 1.

PAGASA said that on Friday, light to moderate with occasional heavy rains may prevail over the eastern parts of Cagayan and Isabela while Northern Aurora, Camarines Norte, and Polillo Island will experience light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains.

On Saturday, light to moderate to occasionally heavy rains may be experienced over Cagayan, Northern Aurora, and the eastern portion of Isabela.

Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains over Apayao and the rest of Isabela and Aurora.

The state weather bureau also advised residents in the said areas, especially those living in areas identified to be highly susceptible to flooding and rain-induced landslides, to take precautionary measures, coordinate with respective local disaster offices, and continue monitoring for weather updates from the state weather bureau.

Sea travel remains also risky, especially for small sea crafts, over the seaboards of areas under TCWS, the seaboards of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon due to prevailing or forecast rough sea conditions.

Stranded Filipinos from the UAE arrive in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 4, 2020

Stranded Filipinos from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Wednesday (June 3), according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

In a statement, the DFA reported 274 Filipino repatriates underwent the necessary medical protocols upon arrival. They will also undergo the 14-day quarantine before they will be allowed to go home to their families.

The DFA also said over 31,000 Filipinos have been repatriated since February.

“A total of 31,528 Overseas Filipinos (OFs) have been repatriated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) since it began bringing back Filipinos affected by COVID-19 in February 2020,” the DFA said. AAC

DFA launches new online appointment, passport application systems as part of ‘new normal’

Robie de Guzman   •   June 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has launched a new system for the online processing of passport and courtesy lane applications.

The DFA Office of the Consular Affairs said the Online Passport Application System (OPAS) and the Courtesy Lane Online Appointment System (CL-OAS) is now open to facilitate ePassport applications submitted through the courtesy lane facility at the DFA Aseana and its consular offices.

These systems are available through onlineappform.passport.gov.ph and passport.gov.ph.

The DFA said the launching of new systems is in line with the physical distancing measures being implemented amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

It added that this initiative will also ensure a faster and more efficient process for the applicants, especially overseas Filipino workers and senior citizens.

“The system reduces the time spent on site by courtesy lane applicants and allows a more streamlined transaction,” the DFA said.

The CL-OAS will also allow cashless transactions and enable courtesy lane clients to pay for passport fees and book a slot in advance.

For those who are not eligible to use the courtesy lane facility, the DFA said they may still use the regular ePassport appointment system through passport.gov.ph.

The requirements for courtesy lane eligibility, may be viewed here

For inquiries on courtesy lane facility and passports, the public may send a message to the DFA at e-mail addresses oca.cl@dfa.gov.ph or passportconcerns@dfa.gov.ph or call (+63) 2-8234-3488.

160 stranded Filipinos in Japan return home

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 2, 2020

After weeks of being stranded in Japan due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, a total of 160 Filipinos are finally sent home on Monday (June 1).

The 160 Filipino tourists, workers, and students departed from Narita International Airport via a chartered flight mounted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo.

On the department’s Facebook post, Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, Atty. Sarah Lou Y. Arriola, said that “the repatriation of distressed Filipinos abroad is firm commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte which is dutifully being implemented by the Department of Foreign Affairs.”

Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Jose C. Laurel V assured the repatriates that the Philippine government will continue to provide assistance to Filipinos abroad.

According to the DFA, the said repatriated Filipinos will undergo COVID testing and hotel quarantine to wait out the results of their test. –AAC

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