PH, China cooperation against illegal online gambling a must – Locsin

Marje Pelayo   •   November 28, 2018   •   3768

 

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping of People’s Republic of China shake hands after declaring their joint press statements during the successful expanded bilateral meeting at the Malacañan Palace on November 20, 2018. | PCOO\Alfred Frias

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. believes there must be an established cooperation between the Philippines and China against illegal online gambling.

On Wednesday (November 28), Locsin said such a measure will prevent misunderstanding between the two countries on matters concerning their respective migrant workers living and working in both of their soils.

Locsin’s suggestion comes after calls from senators who were pushing the government to launch a crackdown against Chinese foreign workers.

Most of the Chinese migrant workers in the Philippines are into the online gaming industry.

“But far from endangering or anyway affecting our relations with China, apparently we are going to do two things. One, online gambling is illegal where gonna stop it out with the help and not against the objection of China,” Locsin said.

Locsin said it is likely that the countries would join hands and help each other in addressing the issue.

 “Two law enforcement agencies will be able to coordinate without it looking as we had surrendered our sovereignty,” the Foreign Affairs secretary said.

During Wednesday’s deliberation of Locsin’s confirmation, senators expressed concern that Filipino workers will end up competing with illegal aliens seeking for employment opportunities in the country.

This, according to Senator Risa Hontiveros, is a ‘direct assault’ on our sovereignty and economy.

For his part, Senate President Vicente Sotto III reminds the government to be careful in mentioning the number of alleged illegal Chinese workers in the country as it would bring a negative effect on Filipino workers in China.

‘Iyong undocumented na nahuli is not less than 1,000. We must remember that there are over 200,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong that are undocumented,” Sotto said.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be forming a special task force to check on the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming operators (POGO) in the country.

Majority of Chinese workers with valid working permits are linked to POGO industry. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

PH receives additional 1M Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine shots

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday received another batch of COVID-19 vaccines made by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

The shipment containing 1 million doses arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at past 7:30 a.m. via a Cebu Pacific flight.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and representatives from the NTF welcomed the arrival of the new vaccine supply.

Duque said 60 to 70 percent of this shipment will be deployed to the NCR Plus, while the rest will be dispatched to cities tagged as high risk areas.

The latest batch was part of the 26 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, called CoronaVac, purchased by the Philippine government.

This brings to 19.5 million the total number of Sinovac vaccines delivered to the country so far, including the 1 million doses donated by the government of China.

As of July 30, the Philippines has received a total of 33,860,700 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from six different manufacturers.

PH gov’t to verify reports on foreign ships’ alleged sewage dumping in West Philippine Sea

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will look into a report that some foreign vessels were allegedly dumping sewage wastes in the contested parts of the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement in response to a report released by US-based geospatial imagery firm, Simularity, which stated that foreign ships have been dumping sewage and human wastes in the reefs of the disputed waters.

“The responsible answer is we are verifying first, we will react if it’s been verified,” Roque said in a press briefing.

“We should accord our neighbors, and our friends the presumption of good faith, when they say something about an issue,” he added.

If the reports are true, Roque said the government would never allow the Philippines to become a garbage dump.

He even cited the incident when the Philippines sent back to Canada its illegally exported trash in 2019.

The Department of National Defense earlier said it is already verifying the report as it noted that the photo accompanying it was supposedly taken on the Australian Great Barrier Reef in 2014.

DFA urged to summon Chinese envoy over additional ships spotted in WPS

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to summon Beijing’s Ambassador to Manila anew over the reported presence of more Chinese ships within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) at the West Philippine Sea.

Hontiveros said the DFA should ask China’s envoy to explain the alleged presence of more than 100 ships this month as reported by a geospatial intelligence firm.

According to a report released Sunday by US-based Simularity, the number of “likely Chinese ships” spiked from 129 to 238, an increase of over 100 ships.

The report detailed that “between mid-May and mid-June 2021, the number of ships within the Union Banks increased from 9 to 236 and the number of ships near Gaven (Burgos) Reef in Tizard Bank decreased from 234 to 71.”

“Instead of de-escalating the tensions in the disputed waters, they doubled down. This clearly shows that China is shamelessly hellbent on aggravating the situation,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

She also urged Malacañang to condemn China’s “incessant presence” in the West Philippine Sea.

“The Palace should look Beijing straight in the eye and tell her to remove her ships from our territories,” she said.

As of writing, the DFA has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

Two months ago, the DFA summoned Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian for the first time over Beijing’s continued swarming of Julian Felipe Reef with over 200 of its vessels.

China has ignored the arbitral ruling that invalidated its nine-dash claim over the vast part of the South China Sea, including parts of the West Philippine Sea.

The DFA has repeatedly fired off diplomatic protest and called for the immediate withdrawal of the vessels.

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