DFA finalizes repatriation for 11 stranded Filipino seafarers onboard Ocean Star 86
Aileen Cerrudo • September 25, 2020 • 234
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is finalizing the repatriation of the remaining 11 Filipino seafarers stranded in Chinese waters onboard Ocean Star 86 since March 24.
The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are already coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in China. OWWA said the seafarers will be able to return home by next week.
“Mayroon na po napipintong repatriation either this coming week or first week of October ng ating mga mahal na stranded seafarers sa China (Our stranded seafarers in China will be repatriated either this coming week or first week of October). We are now providing assistance to the seafarers,” according to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.
Based on the information received by OWWA, the Ocean Star 86 is docked in the mainland and the Philippine Embassy in China has been providing assistance to the seafarers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration stands firm that the Philippines’ position will not be compromised should a joint oil exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea pushes through.
This is in relation to the country’s arbitral award on the disputed territory against China.
“First, this lifting of the moratorium is an exercise of our sovereign rights. In no way it weakens the arbitral decision, and our MOU to explore a joint development program or cooperation with China, in no way that it weakens or gives away our sovereign rights,” noted Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Energy (DOE) to lift the suspension and once again issue a resume to work notice for service contractors for oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
“Although sovereign rights are defined as exclusive rights, that exclusive rights may be shared to others. The decision to share it is part of the sovereign rights,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. –MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
The new ruling, however, is subject to flight availability and medical protocols.
The DFA on Monday (Oct. 19) noted that Malaysia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Hong Kong have imposed stricter medical protocols and visa regulations for those who are exempt from entry restrictions.
Mongolia’s borders remain open but inbound travelers in the country are now required to present negative COVID-19 test results and must have all applicable documents to support their visa status.
Japan, on the other hand, has gradually opened up inbound entry for students, dependents and technical interns but still prohibits entry of short-stay travelers, including tourists, the DFA said.
Also, previous information on travel restrictions for other countries and regions remain the same.
“In view of these updates, the DFA reminds the public that information contained in the infographics is subject to change without prior and sufficient public notice,” the agency said.
The DFA reminds travelers that it is always best to check ahead of travel dates with airlines, as well as with relevant Embassies or Consulates before booking a ticket and before departure.
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