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PH Embassy in Russia reports rise in OFW voters registration for 2019 polls

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2018

RUSSIA — 500 more Filipinos working in Russia were added to the list of overseas absentee voters following a series of voters registration held in Moscow. An on-site registration is also being held in Yerevan, Armenia.

Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta attributes the increase in registrants to rising population of Filipinos in the country, among other factors.

“Ang isang factor po ay dumami ho ang Filipino sa Russia. Lumaki po ang population natin dito mga Filipino, so galing sa Pilipinas at sa iba pang mga bansa tapos ang tingin ko rin nakikita ko ang mga Filipino talagang gustong magparticipate sa ating political process,” said Ambassador Sorreta.

(One factor is the rising population of Filipinos in Russia. I can also see how much the Filipinos want to participate in the political process.)

Earl Lynne Divinagracia, a Filipino migrant worker who just started working in Russia, is looking forward to the election.

“Ito ay mahalaga para mapalitan na yung mga naka upo sa pwesto na walang ginagawa (It is very important. It’s time to remove incumbent senators who are slacking off ,” Divinagracia said.

Overseas Filipino worker (OFW), Jenette Durante was unable to participate in past elections but this time she is ensuring that her vote will be counted.

“Narealize ko po na mahalaga po pala ang boto ko at makakapili po ako nang tamang kandidato para po sa ating bayan ( I realized how valuable my vote is and my right to choose the right people for our nation),”

The Philippine Embassy also reported that in 2016, nearly 3,000 OFW voters registered in Russia with 37 percent or 1,078 voters turnout.

According to Jeffrey Valdez, vice consul at the Philippine Embassy in Moscow, there are an estimated 8,000 OFWs in Russia and 80-85 percent of them are women.

Embassy officials also underscored the importance of the privilege to participate in the political process.

“Ang ating bayan ay isang demokratikong bayan na ang power po ng ating mga leaders ay nanggagaling po sa mga mamamayan po natin. So napakaimportante po na sumali po tayo sa pagpili sa mga taong magdedecide at maglead po sa atin into the future po,” said Sorreta.

(Our country is a democracy and the power of our leaders rests upon the people. This is why its very important to participate in the selection of our future leaders.)

Filipino voters in Russia only have until Sunday, September 30 from 12 to 4 in the afternoon to register for the 2019 mid-term elections. — Catherine Martinez |UNTV News & Rescue, Russia

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OPEC set to extend oil supply cut

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2019

Oil prices were up on Monday (July 1) as OPEC and its allies looked on track to extend supply cuts until at least the end of 2019, a policy aimed at propping up the price of crude amid a weakening global economy.

OPEC and its allies led by Russia have been reducing oil output since 2017 to prevent prices from sliding amid soaring production from the United States, which has become the world’s top producer this year ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The United States is not a member of OPEC, nor is it participating in the supply pact. Washington has demanded that Riyadh pump more oil to compensate for lower exports from Iran after slapping fresh sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.

Speaking at a news conference in Vienna, the head of Nigeria’s delegation Folsade Yemi-Essan said they ”strongly endorse” the planned extension and said the extension of 9 months was preferable as it offered greater confidence for markets.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, meet on Monday and Tuesday (July 2) to discuss supply cuts amid surging U.S. output.

Oil prices have come under renewed pressure in recent months from rising U.S. supplies and a slowing global economy.

U.S. crude oil output in April rose to a fresh monthly record of 12.16 million bpd, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, even though shale production growth likely peaked last year. (REUTERS)

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Trump tells Putin: Don’t meddle in U.S. elections

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 28th, 2019

Meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump | Courtesy: Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday (June 28) told Russian President Vladimir Putin not to meddle in the U.S. elections, appearing to make light of a scandal that led to a two-year investigation into his campaign’s contact with the Kremlin during the 2016 elections.

Asked by a reporter whether he would raise the issue during a meeting with Putin, Trump said: “Yes, of course I will.”

Trump then turned to Putin to give the directive twice while pointing at the Russian leader. Putin maintained a smile as the remark was interpreted for him.

The two leaders were heading into talks on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Japan’s western city of Osaka, their first formal face-to-face meeting since a controversial high-profile summit in Helsinki last July.

Relations between the two countries have been sour for years, worsening after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.

In a recent television interview, Putin said that relations between Moscow and Washington were “getting worse and worse.”

For his part, Trump has sought better relations with Putin to tackle a host of issues, including his goal to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. On Friday, he emphasized the positive.

“It’s a great honor to be with President Putin,” Trump told reporters. “We have many things to discuss, including trade and including some disarmament.”

Trump and Putin had been scheduled to meet at the end of November at the last G20 in Buenos Aires, but Trump cancelled the meeting as he flew to Argentina, citing Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian navy ships and sailors. The two spoke informally at the event, and at a lunch in Paris earlier that month.

“We’ve had great meetings. We’ve had a very, very good relationship,” Trump said on Friday. “And we look forward to spending some very good time together. A lot of very positive things going to come out of the relationship.”

In May, the two leaders had their first extensive phone conversation in months. Trump said they talked about a new accord to limit nuclear arms that could eventually include China.

Russia is under punitive sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union and wants them lifted.

Trump’s critics have accused him of being too friendly with Putin and slammed him for failing to publicly confront the Russian leader in Helsinki over Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. (REUTERS)

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More than 300 distressed OFW take shelter in PH Embassy in Dubai

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Philippine Embassy in Dubai is currently taking custody of more than 300 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

Almost all of them are holders of either visit or tourist visa who took a chance of looking for a job in Dubai.

Some of them are victims of illegal recruiters. Some had a job but their contracts have expired so there are overstays. Some quit their jobs because of health reasons and had no choice but to run to the Embassy for support.

“Naging polisiya naman ng ating konsulado na kung may kababaihan na nangangailangan ng tulong at pagkalinga or shelter, (It has been the policy of our Consulate to assist our kababayans especially the women if they need help or shelter,) then our office or POLO center is open to assist them anytime,” noted Labor Attaché II Felicitas Bay.

“Ang ating operations dito (ay) 24 hours, (We operate 24 hours a day,)” she added.

Wards at POLO Center can only accommodate up to 120 individuals but because of the influx of distressed OFWs, hallways and some of the staff offices have been turned into bedrooms.

“In the meantime, na nandito sila gumagawa naman kami ng paraan to solve their cases, (In the meantime while they’re here, we find ways to solve their cases,)” the POLO Official said.

“At the same time, gumagawa din tayo ng paraan na (maging) maganda ang kanilang kalusugan, maganda ang kanilang pananaw sa buhay, at maganda rin ang kanilang kaalaman, (We are finding ways to care for their health, to change their perspective in life and equip them with the knowledge they need,)” she added.

On June 23, 23 distressed OFWs were repatriated to the Philippines with the help of the Embassy.

While the OFWs are in the POLO Center, the Labor office is providing them training on how to put up their businesses once they return to the Philippines. – with reports from Annabelle Maravilla / UNTV Dubai

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