DFA urges Pinoys in Lebanon to avoid areas of protests

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 21, 2019   •   679

A picture taken with a drone shows an aerial view of protesters waving Lebanese flags and shouting anti-government slogans during a protest in front of Muhammad al-Amin Mosque in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, 20 October 2019. Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Lebanon for a fourth day of protests that sparked after proposed taxes with the 2020 budget, especially an unexpected government plan to impose a fee of 0.20 cents a day for using WhatsApp calls. The government said the plan will not come into effect and Prime Minister Saad Hariri gave political parties 72 hours to agree on a solution to the country’s crisis. EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advises the Filipino community in Lebanon to stay away from areas where protests are being held.

On Saturday (October 19), the DFA reiterated the advise of the Philippine Embassy in Beirut for Filipinos in Lebanon to take the necessary precautions in view of the ongoing protests.

“Filipinos are urged to stay away from areas where protests are taking place, and to remain indoors as much as possible,” based on the statement of the DFA.

A mass protest in Lebanon began on Thursday (October 17) after the Lebanese government proposed to tax calls in several messaging services including WhatsApp.

The mass protests continue as protesters demand for more reforms including an end to rampant corruption in the government.—AAC

74 new COVID-19 cases reported among overseas Filipinos — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported 74 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), bringing the total number to 8,762 as of Wednesday (July 8).

Most of the new cases reported are in the Middle East, the DFA said. 

Meanwhile, the total number of OFWs under treatment has reached 2,932.

Nineteen new recoveries were also reported, bringing the total of OFWs who have recovered from the disease to 5,237.

However, 13 new deaths were recorded in the Middle East bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities among OFWs to 590.

With the resumption of international flight operations at NAIA Terminal 3 on Wednesday,  the DFA expects a rise in repatriations.

The agency assures its steadfast commitment to effectively facilitating and coordinating the safe return of Filipinos affected by the pandemic.

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31 countries lift inbound border restrictions on Filipino travelers — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced that 31 countries have already lifted the inbound border restrictions on Filipino travelers subject to medical protocols.

The latest additions to the list of countries that have recently opened their borders include Bahamas, Egypt, Ethiopia, and UAE.

This is out of 177 nations and territories that declared travel bans due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

However, the DFA said a total of 68 countries and territories still do not allow entry into their borders such as Cuba, Haiti, Palau, Timor Leste, France, and most countries in the Middle East/Africa, among others.

About 78 countries/territories, despite inbound border closures, give entry exemptions to Filipinos who are citizens of the destination country and returning residents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with work visas and contracts, diplomatic or UN passport holders going to post or on official travel.

The new update under this category is Macau SAR, with imposed medical protocols.

Likewise, the DFA said the updated list confirms that 138 countries now allow Filipinos to return to the Philippines, subject to flight availability and other special arrangements.

New countries which have allowed departures for the Philippines include the mentioned countries which also recently opened their inbound restrictions.

Meanwhile, with the recent announcement of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on the resumption of international flight operations at NAIA Terminal 3 beginning 12:01 a.m. of July 8, the DFA reiterated that travel restrictions can change without prior public notice.

The DFA advises all travelers to always check ahead of travel dates with the airlines that will be used as well as with relevant embassies or consulates before departure or before booking a ticket.

Over 600 Filipinos repatriated from UAE back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – More than 600 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) repatriated from the United Arab Emirates have arrived in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said a total of 648 Filipino repatriates returned home on Tuesday aboard two special commercial flights from Dubai.

The flights landed separately at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

The DFA said the flights were made possible in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates government, the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai.

The department assured that repatriated Filipinos underwent appropriate airport medical protocols during their arrival.

They will also undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine against coronavirus disease as required by the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine.

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