Duterte seeks bilateral labor agreement with Russia for OFWs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 3, 2019   •   507

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev pose for posterity prior to the start of their bilateral meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Moscow on October 2, 2019. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to sign a bilateral labor agreement with Russia for the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the country.

Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta said that if the agreement pushes through, Filipinos who wish to work in Russia will be granted “legal status.”

There are currently 10,000 Filipinos working in Russia but most of them don’t have legal documents.

“Kapag napirmahan iyan, maaring magkaroon na ng legal status iyong mga gustong mag-trabaho dito. Iba pang usapin iyong legalization o amnesty nung nandito na (Once it is signed, those who wish to work here will be granted legal status. However legalization or amnesty for [OFWs] already working here is a different matter),” Sorreta said.

Sorreta also added that agreements in the sectors of political consultation, health, research, science, and culture are also expected to be signed by the Philippine and Russian governments.

The Philippine government also aims to have energy cooperation with Russia.

Sorreta said there is a possibility that a natural gas plantation will be constructed in the Philippines as well as the possible adoption of nuclear energy.

Meanwhile, President Duterte is also set to speak at the Valdai forum to talk about the Philippine perspective in the world order.

“I think first of all the Philippines is in a very, very great position to speak about the eastern perspective in the world order because we have very deep ties with—for example, the west. Our traditions, our values are heavily dependent on western education,” said Sorreta.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DILG reiterates: No mass gathering during 5th SONA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reiterated that mass gathering is still prohibited even during President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The reminder was issued following numerous requests made to the department from groups who want to conduct protest rallies during the President’s SONA on Monday (July 27).

In an advisory released by the DILG, the department reminded local government units (LGU) to prohibit mass gatherings, following the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said they will strictly monitor and will apprehend anyone who will violate the IATF policies during SONA.

“Base sa instruction and guidelines na kapag may mag-rally doon na bawal at lalo na kapag walang permit at goes beyond the authorized number, aarestuhin talaga sila, (Based on the instruction and guidelines, if a group stages a rally without a permit and goes beyond the authorized number, they will be apprehended),” according to NCRPO Director PMGen. Debold Sinas. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Hunger among families climbs to 20.9% in the past 3 months—SWS

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2020

About 20.9%, , or an estimated 5.2 million Filipinos families experienced ‘involuntary hunger’ at least once in the past three months, according to the recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

“Hunger in July 2020 was up by 4.2 points from 16.7% in May 2020, and by a total of 12.1 points from 8.8% in December 2019,” the SWS stated.

The SWS July 3-6, 2020 National Mobile Phone Survey showed that out of the 20.9% Filipino families, 15.8% or an estimate of 3.9 million families experienced ‘moderate hunger’. Meanwhile, the remaining 5.1% or an estimate of 1.3 million families experienced ‘severe hunger’.

The SWS defined “moderate hunger” as those who experienced hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months. Meanwhile, severe hunger refers to those who experienced it “often” or “always” in the last three months.

The SWS July 3-6, 2020 National Mobile Phone Survey was a probability-based survey conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) of 1,555 adult Filipinos. AAC

Duterte to discuss COVID-19 recovery roadmap in 5th SONA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 22, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss the government’s roadmap for the country’s recovery from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27.

“By theme, well, I think it would be obvious that he would be talking about COVID-19, impact on the country and steps taken to deal with COVD-19 at tsaka kung paano tayo makakabangon sa aberya at sigalot na nagresulta dahil sa COVID,according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

As of Tuesday (July 21), the Philippines has recorded a total of 70,764 confirmed cases, with 23,281 recoveries and 1,837 COVID-19 deaths.

Roque also said the President will also discuss how to boost the country’s economy amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said to expect the 5th SONA to be different since only a limited number of government officials will be allowed to physically attend. Nograles also reiterated the importance of the President’s 5th SONA.

“Such a report is more important now, more than ever, as government works to chart a safe course for our country as it navigates through unfamiliar and uncertain times, as it works to recoup the gains we have made in the President’s first three and a half years,” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)


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