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

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019   •   378

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.

Filipinos hurt in Beirut blast now at 47 – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday reported that the number of Filipinos who suffered injuries following the powerful blasts in Beirut, Lebanon has climbed to 47.

In a statement, the DFA said it received a report on five additional Filipino nationals who were injured in the explosions.

“We are still thankful that the injuries sustained by our kababayans are not life-threatening. We also thank our Embassy personnel for taking prompt action,” DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said.

The department also said it is now preparing to bring home this week the remains of four Filipinos who died in the blast.

A chartered flight will also be facilitated for the repatriation of some 400 Filipino workers in Lebanon who wish to return to the Philippines.

Arriola said the cost of the repatriation will be shouldered by the government.

On August 4, two explosions occurred at the port of the city of Beirut that resulted in more than 100 deaths and 5,000 injuries.

The blasts were believed to have been linked to more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate which have been stored in a warehouse for about six years since it was confiscated from an abandoned ship.

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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