Finally! Canada agrees to shoulder return of trash shipment

Marje Pelayo   •   May 7, 2019   •   11898

MANILA, Philippines — The Canadian government has agreed to pay for the expenses in shipping out all the 69 waste containers it had dumped in the Philippines in 2013.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) confirmed the matter during the 37th Cabinet meeting on Monday (May 6) with President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The President is firm that we are not garbage collectors, thus he ordered that the Philippines will no longer accept any waste from any country,” Panelo said in a statement to reporters.

In April, President Duterte issued a stern warning saying he would declare “war” against Canada if it failed to remove its trash illegally exported to the country, and emphasized that he would no longer allow the North American country to turn the Philippines into a “dumpsite.”

“We will declare war. Load the containers onto a ship and advise Canada. I will advise Canada that, ‘Your garbage is on the way. Prepare a grand reception. Eat it if you want to,’” he added.

READ: Canada vows to resolve trash dumping issue after Duterte’s war threat

In response, the Canadian Embassy to the Philippines reiterated its government’s commitment “to working collaboratively with the Government of the Philippines to ensure the material is processed in an environmentally responsible way.”

 “A joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of the waste with a view to a timely resolution,” the Canadian Embassy said in a statement. – Marje Pelayo

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.

LIST: Countries with travel bans and restrictions amid COVID-19 pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 29, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has released an updated list of countries with travel bans and restrictions related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In their social media post, the DFA posted the infographics on 10 countries that have updated their status on travel restrictions. The said infographics aim to inform Filipinos who are allowed to leave the Philippines.

The said countries include, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Mauritania.

“It is always best for the traveler to 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,” the DFA said. AAC

Over 400 Filipinos repatriated from South Korea back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 425 stranded overseas Filipinos in South Korea have arrived in the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said the repatriated Filipinos landed in Manila on June 23 via two special flights – Korean Air KE 623 and Asiana Airlines OZ 703.

The special flights were arranged by the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, with the support of the DFA, Department of Labor and Employment, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Manila International Airport Authority in cooperation with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.

“We will continue to work hard to extend vital assistance to our nationals here in South Korea, including arranging special passenger flights for our stranded kababayans so they can be reunited with their loved ones back home,” Charge d’Affaires, a.i. (CDA) Christian De Jesus said.

Prior to their departure, the repatriated Filipinos underwent briefing on the procedures for COVID-19 testing and quarantine upon their arrival in Manila. They also received vitamins and face masks from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.

To date, the Philippine Embassy in Seoul has facilitated the return of close to 700 Filipinos in South Korea, both residents and transiting passengers, the DFA said.

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