PH Envoy: 15 more Filipinos to return home from Libya

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2019   •   1364

MANILA, Philippines – More Filipino workers in war-torn Libya will soon arrive home, Philippine Chargè d’Affaires Elmer Cato said on Wednesday.

In a post on Twitter, Cato said the latest batch of 15 Filipinos, including five minors, were briefed by the Philippine Embassy in Libya before they were evacuated from the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

@PhinLibya briefs the latest batch of 15 Filipinos, including five minors, prior to their evacuation from Tripoli this morning,” Cato said.

This brings to 70 the number of kababayan who requested the assistance of @DFAPHL and @doleph in returning to the Philippines,” he added.

According to Cato, this is the biggest number of Filipinos to be evacuated since the latest conflict erupted in April.

The repatriates are expected to arrive in Manila on Thursday.

“This is so far the biggest number of Filipinos to be repatriated by @PhinLibya, @DFAPHL, and @doleph since the current crisis in Tripoli erupted almost two months ago,” he said.

“The repatriates will arrive in Manila from Tunis via Dubai on Thursday,” he added.

Last May 17, at least 11 Filipinos were repatriated from Libya amid heavy continued heavy fighting.

READ: 11 more Filipinos to arrive home from Libya

The DFA recently enforced a mandatory evacuation of Filipino workers in Tripoli and other areas within a 100-kilometer radius from the capital due to escalating tensions.

READ: Alert level 4 raised in Libya – DFA

Cato also said in a Twitter update that they have been trying to reach a group of Filipino engineers who refused to leave their compound amid heavy clashes in the outskirts of Tripoli.

“They have been incommunicado for the past four days,” he added.

The DFA official earlier called on Filipinos working in Tripoli to heed their advice to get out of the harm’s way by availing of the repatriation program they offer.

He said the ability of the DFA officials to respond to calls for assistance by Filipinos in distress becomes more difficult or even impossible to carry out as the fighting gets closer to the capital.

DFA reminds Filipinos: Don’t bring animal products to South Korea

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2020

Quarantine workers spray disinfectant at Incheon International Airport, in Incheon, South Korea, 21 January 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday reminded Filipinos that bringing of animal or livestock products to South Korea is prohibited.

The DFA issued the reminder after a Filipino traveler was issued a five-year entry ban for “failing to pay the fine amounting ₩5,000,000.00 (PHP219,907.87) for bringing pork sausages at the airport.”

The Filipino traveler came to South Korea last October 21, 2019.

“This shows how stringent the South Korean authorities are regarding the enforcement of the regulation,” the DFA said.

The agency, through the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, reiterates that under South Korea’s Law on the Prevention of Contagious Animal Disease, and pursuant to the advisories from South Korean government agencies, carrying animal or livestock products is restricted, adding that products should be reported and declared at the quarantine office of the port of entry.

Policy violators will be fined up to ₩10,000,000.00 (PHP439,815.73), and those who fail to pay the fine will be banned from entering South Korea.

The DFA also advised Filipinos entering South Korea as visitors, workers or residents to refrain from bringing restricted items in their hand-carry or checked-in luggage.

“All hand-carry and checked-in luggage of passengers are subjected to security screening at the airport terminals,” the agency added.

Two Filipinos trafficked into Iraq back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2020

DFA-OUMWA welcomes home two more Filipinos from Baghdad, Iraq. Both are victims of human trafficking. The Philippine government shouldered their airfare and exit visa. Fifteen Filipinos have been brought home since mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in Iraq was declared on January 8, 2020.

MANILA, Philippines – Two Filipino women who were trafficked into Iraq have returned to the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.

In a statement, the DFA said the two females who repatriated from Baghdad, Iraq arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday afternoon.

Department representatives welcomed the two repatriates who were both victims of human trafficking.

The DFA said a total of 15 Filipinos have been brought home since the government ordered for mandatory repatriation of Filipino workers in Iraq last January 8.

The mandatory evacuation order was triggered by the hoisting of alert level 4 due to the security threats in the Middle East.

The alert level for Filipinos in Iraq was raised after Iran launched a series of ballistic missile attacks on Iraq’s bases, where US forces were located.

Iran’s firing of rockets was in retaliation for the death of top military general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad last January 3.

On the same day, more than 170 passengers were killed after Iran shot down a Ukrainian plane while on alert after its missile attack against US forces.

Iranian foreign minister to secure safety of Filipinos in Iran amid tension

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 16, 2020

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in talks with Filipino officials on Tuesday (January 14) to assure the safety of Filipinos in Iran.

Philippine Ambassador to Iran Wilfredo C. Santos, arranged and facilitated talks between Presidential Adviser for Overseas Filipino Workers (PAOFW) Secretary Abdullah Mama-o and the Iranian Foreign Minister to discuss the safety of Filipinos amid the tension between the United States and Iran.

The talks also aims to “ensure their safe passage in the event of worsening tensions and armed confrontation.”

Meanwhile, the first batch of repatriated Filipinos from Iraq arrived on Wednesday (January 15).

“The first batch of Filipinos (11 adults and 2 children) have been successfully repatriated from Baghdad and Erbil in Iraq,” according to the statement of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).—AAC

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