PH Envoy: 15 more Filipinos to return home from Libya

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2019   •   1283

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 monitors welfare of 13 Pinoy seafarers abducted off Cameroon coast

Marje Pelayo   •   August 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippine government is closely monitoring the status of the 13 Filipino seafarers who were reportedly abducted off the waters of Cameroon.

In a statement, the DFA confirmed that the Philippine Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria is currently working to verify the report.

Embassy officials, likewise, were given instructions to make representations with the concerned authorities to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino seafarers held in the piracy incident off the coast of Cameroon.

The Department of Foreign Affairs assured that it is in close contact with the seafarer’s manning agency and their families for updates of the case.

Philippines, Singapore issue travel advisories to Hong Kong

Marje Pelayo   •   August 16, 2019

Hong Kong Police arrests anti-government protesters

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday (August 16) advised Filipino travelers who have no urgent business in Hong Kong to avoid Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) as destination or transit airport for the meantime as public unrest continuous to escalate.

The DFA reiterates in a statement that the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong is closely monitoring the developments in the autonomous territory in relation to the ongoing protests in several areas there.

LIST of protest areas and schedule of demonstrations

Likewise, the Department advised Filipino travelers departing from Hong Kong to contact their respective airlines at least five hours before their scheduled flights for sudden changes and adjustments in their flight schedule.

Following are the airlines’ hotlines in Hong Kong:

  • Philippine Airlines: (+852) 2769.7123
  • Cebu Pacific: (+852) 3973.3800
  • Cathay Pacific: (+852) 2747.3333

Meanwhile, the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) also issued a travel advisory to its citizens to defer non-essential travel to Hong Kong, given current developments.

Singaporeans who are already in Hong Kong are advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and are reminded to be vigilant at all times.

MOFA also encourages Singaporeans in Hong Kong to eRegister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/  for immediate coordination should the need arises.

Further details on the MOFA advisory can be viewed here.

DFA to Pinoy travelers: Don’t bring animal products to South Korea

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday (August 14) reminded Filipino travelers that entry of animal products is strictly not allowed in South Korea.

In an advisory, the DFA through the Philippine Embassy in Seoul is informing all Filipinos about the restriction being enforced by the Korea Immigration Service–Ministry of Justice (KIS-MOJ) which has taken effect on June 1, 2019.

Specifically, the Korean government bans entry of animal products like raw meat, processed meat, canned meat, eggs and poultry products, milk and dairy products, pet food and supplies.

In case a traveller has any of these products on his or her luggage, that product “must be reported or declared at the quarantine office of the port of entry” according to the Embassy’s advisory.

“This is to prevent the spread of highly-infectious diseases, such as African swine fever, foot and mouth disease, and highly pathogenic avian influenza, under South Korea’s Contagious Animal Diseases Prevention Act,” the advisory further said.

Failure to report or declare animal products at airports and seaports could incur a fine of up to KRW 10,000,000 or equivalent to P428,570 and failure to pay the fine could deny the tourist entry to South Korea or visa extension.

As a similar procedure in Philippine ports of entry, the DFA reminded all Filipinos entering South Korea as visitors, workers, or residents “to refrain from bringing restricted items in their hand carried or checked-in luggage” as all baggage are being subjected to standard security screening.

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