Duterte seeks bilateral labor agreement with Russia for OFWs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 3, 2019   •   219

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)

PH as world’s biggest rice importer concerns Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   November 12, 2019

Filipino port workers unload sacks of rice, which are imported from Vietnam to be distributed by the National Food Authority (NFA), inside a ship docked at Surigao port, Mindanao, southern Philippines. EPA-EFE/ALLANAH TORRALBA (FILE)

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang does not deny being concerned about recent reports that the Philippines is currently the world’s top rice importer.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, such report may be true but the government is making sure that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is on top of the situation.

“Ginagawa naman ni Secretary Dar ang kaniyang mga pamamaraan (Secretary Dar is finding ways) to solve whatever problems confronting the farmers,” Panelo said.

The report published by the United States’ Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA-FAS) projected the Philippines rice importation to reach a record high by year-end – about 3 million metric tons – the highest in the world and the country’s highest ever recorded.

This projection is way higher than China, the biggest rice importer so far at 2.5 million metric tons by year-end.

Malacañang, meanwhile, blames the country’s lack of irrigation as the main reason for the increase in rice importation. – MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

Palace: Duterte to take a 3-day break

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte will be having a three-day break beginning Tuesday (November 12), according to Malacañang.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday (November 11) clarified that it will not be an official leave since the president will still be doing his paperwork. The president will fly home to Davao Monday night.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will be the officer-in-charge of the Executive branch while Duterte rests, according to Panelo

“Well upon the advice of friends, of colleagues, and the world, it seems. And most likely upon the advice of doctors also to take a respite from his punishing schedule,” he said.

Panelo clarified there are no medical concerns that prompted the three-day break.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to attend ASEAN-ROK summit in South Korea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit in South Korea from November 25 to 27.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Sunday (November 10) that the president will be attending the summit in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between the regional bloc and South Korea.

“He will push through with the trip,” Panelo said.

President Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-In are also expected to have a bilateral meeting to discuss trade and security issues.

The Philippines and South Korea have recently celebrated its 70th bilateral relations.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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