Extension of visa-free privilege for Filipinos in Taiwan still under study

Marje Pelayo   •   June 12, 2019   •   1234

TAIWAN – Extension of visa-free treatment to Philippine passport holders is still under study by Taiwan’s Executive Yuan.

On Monday (June 10), Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said the island state is expected to extend visa-privileges to citizens of four countries — the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand and Russia — originally set to expire on July 31, 2019.

According to MOFA, the decision will depend on the result of the assessment on the program’s effectiveness throughout the trial year.

“The final decision will be announced by the Executive Yuan in due time,” it said.

Under the visa-free program, foreign nationals from the said four countries are allowed to enter Taiwan without visa and stay in the island for up to 14 days.

The relaxed visa system was launched by the Taiwan government in an effort to boost the number of tourist arrivals after a decline in tourists from mainland China.

According to the latest figure from Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, tourist arrivals from the Philippines increased by 12.46 percent in the first four months of 2019 from a year earlier.

DFA warns against fake Korean visa assistance services

Marje Pelayo   •   November 1, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Embassy in Seoul, South Korea is reminding Filipinos to be wary of bogus visa processing services directed at irregular migrants.

The embassy added that these fake visa providers usually advertise on Facebook enticing Filipinos who wish to acquire valid visa to be able to apply for a job in South Korea.

“Please note that there is no such service allowed by Korean authorities,” the Embassy said.

“Members of the Filipino Community are encouraged to advise kababayans not to entertain these schemes, nor spread these in social media,” it added.

ADVISORY ON BOGUS KOREAN VISA ASSISTANCE SERVICE The Philippine Embassy in Seoul wishes to remind the Filipino public…

Posted by Philippine Embassy in Korea on Wednesday, 30 October 2019

DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

Marje Pelayo   •   October 28, 2019

Iraqi protesters take part in an anti-Iraq government protest in the al-Tayaran square in central Baghdad, Iraq, 04 October 2019 (issued on 07 October 2019). A wave of unrest and violent protests in Iraq have left at least 100 people dead and thousands injured. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday (October 27) asked Filipinos to postpone any travel to Iraq in view of the ongoing unrest in the country.

In an advisory, the DFA calls on Filipinos that if travel to Iraq is inevitable or could not be delayed, avoid flights with early morning or late night arrivals in Baghdad, Basra, and the Kurdistan Region.

Also, curfews are currently imposed in several cities.

Filipinos needing assistance may contact the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad at the following information:

Mobile
(+964) 781-606-6822
(+964) 773-569-9562
(+964) 750-810-5240

E-mail
baghdad.pe@dfa.gov.ph

Facebook page
Philippine Embassy in Iraq

Two Filipinos confirmed dead in Taiwan bridge collapse

Marje Pelayo   •   October 2, 2019

Rescuers conduct a retrieval operation in the scene of the collapsed Nanfangao Bridge in Nanfangao, Yilan County, northeastern Taiwan, 01 October 2019. The arch bridge collapsed on 01 October 2019 after an oil tanker crossed on to the bridge. The structural failure caused the tanker to fall into the waterway and ignite. The accident left 12 people injured, including the tanker driver, 2 dead and 4 missing. EPA-EFE/RITCHIE B. TONGO

MANILA, Philippines – The remains of two Filipino fishermen were finally recovered on Wednesday (October 2) after they went missing when the 140-meter Nanfang’ao Bridge collapsed over them in Yilan, Taiwan, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) confirmed in a statement.

The two Filipinos were identified as Andree Abregana Serencio and Gorge Jagmis Impang.

Meanwhile, search and rescue operation is still on-going on the site as one Filipino fisherman identified as Romulo Ilustrisimo Escalicas Jr., remains missing.

“We will assist in the repat of human remains and to process all benefits and entitlements arising from the accident,” assured Rolly Francia, Information and Public Service Director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Francia noted that Impang’s next of kin will receive all benefits as he is an active member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Serencio, however, has no active record of membership since 2017.

According to Yilan Fire Bureau, the bodies of Impang and Serencio were among the missing fishermen in the tragedy.

The other two recovered bodies were those of the two Indonesian fishermen Wartono and Ersona, according to authorities.

Nine other fishermen were injured in the incident, including five Filipinos who, according to DOLE were all brought to Poai Hospital and Kong Min Hospital in Yilan County.

The five fishermen are now safe.

“Nagpadala kami ng mga tao doon both sa MECO at sa OWWA Welfare Officer natin para matulungan yung mga kababayan natin, (We have representatives from MECO and OWWA to help them,)” assured MECO Chairman Angelito Banayo.

“Kinausap din (natin) iyong mga agencies at mga ahente nitong mga ito para masiguradong sagot ng kanilang insurance, (We also coordinated with their agencies and agents to make sure they receive the insurance benefits),” he concluded. MNP (with details from Amiel Pascual)

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