DFA reminds Filipinos of travel bans and restrictions amid COVID-19 pandemic
Marje Pelayo • June 22, 2020 • 822
MANILA, Philippines – Some countries have eased their existing travel restrictions and preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In line with this, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reminds all Filipinos traveling outside or returning to the Philippines to be guided by the infographics that the Department released as guide on travel restrictions imposed by countries across the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The DFA noted, however, that the information posted is subject to change without prior notice.
All travellers, even those with valid visas or confirmed flights, are advised to consult with relevant embassies or consulates of the destination country and ports of transit before booking the ticket.
“It is always best to check ahead of travel dates with the airlines that will be used for departure,” the DFA said in its advisory while it assures to update the public with relevant reminders on travel restrictions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to proceed with the investigation into a Philippine envoy’s alleged maltreatment of her service staff in Brazil, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Thursday.
“In light of the gravity of the allegations against the ambassador, the President has given the green light to proceed with the investigation of the official concerned, as recommended by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs,” Go said in a statement.
The DFA earlier said it needed the approval of the president to conduct a probe against Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro who was caught on CCTV maltreating her unidentified Filipina household service staff on several occasions.
Section 51 of the Foreign Service Act states that “Chiefs of Mission who are commissioned by the President as ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary shall not be investigated by the Board [of Foreign Service Administration] or separated from the service unless there is an express written directive from the President.”
“The President has always been firm – the protection and promotion of the rights, welfare and well-being of Filipinos overseas is a paramount responsibility of our government,” Go said.
“Our ambassadors are duty-bound to carry out this mandate, no questions asked,” he added.
Go further stated that the “impartial investigation will be carried out consistent with relevant provisions of the law, particularly the Foreign Service Act of 1991.”
DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier said a team has been formed to investigate Mauro and the circumstances surrounding the issue.
Mauro has been ordered to return home to face the investigation.
She has yet to issue a statement regarding the allegations.
MANILA, Philippines – Some senators are seeking a thorough investigation into the alleged maltreatment of a Filipino household worker by Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Joel Villanueva both expressed outrage, calling the actions of the country’s envoy “deplorable” and “conduct unbecoming a diplomat official.”
Mauro was caught on CCTV maltreating her unidentified Filipina service staff on several occasions.
The video footage was shown on the Brazilian news channel GloboNews last Sunday and was picked up by international news organizations.
“While watching the video, I was horrified to see the brazenness of our ambassador to Brazil in physically maltreating the embassy service staff. I cannot imagine how people in her position could enact such violence to the very people they are sworn to protect,” Zubiri said in a statement.
“How can we demand foreign employers of our OFWs, especially domestic helpers, to respect their rights and not maltreat them, when the very people who are supposed to protect and defend them abroad are the ones abusing them? This is such a terrible incident and a black eye on our image abroad,” he added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has ordered Mauro to return to the Philippines and explain the matter.
Zubiri called on the DFA to immediately conduct an investigation and “prosecute the official if found violating labor laws and the Kasambahay Law.”
Villanueva also condemned the incident, stressing that the country’s embassies should be taking care of the welfare of Filipinos overseas.
“The incident should also serve notice to the diplomatic service that ‘as representatives of our country to a foreign land, one is expected to protect the well-being of our people starting with the ones at their own backyards,’” Villanueva added.
The senator also urged the DFA to examine existing grievance mechanisms in our posts to ensure that Filipinos have immediate recourse to the department’s head office in Maninla when incidents such as this happen to prevent its recurrence and escalation.
“This incident must give focus on what kind of grievance procedure our Embassies provide our OFWs. The DFA should recheck if there is an active system that actually works in providing protection to OFWs and any case of abuse and maltreatment does not go unchecked,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. on Wednesday (October 28) vowed to address ‘to the fullest extent of the law’ the incidents of physical abuse by former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro against her household staff.
In a series of tweets, Locsin said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will be “firm in meting out the appropriate sanctions and administrative or criminal charges” on the former envoy if results of the investigation on the matter would demand as such.
Locsin broke the news of Mauro’s recall from post on Monday (October 26).
The incident of physical abuse by Mauro against her staff was aired over Brazilian news outlet GloboNews with dates listed on the video footage as taken in March, August and October this year.
As the Philippine Ambassador to Brazil, Mauro also held concurrent jurisdiction over Colombia and Venezuela.
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