PH Navy receives, commissions ex-South Korean warship

Robie de Guzman   •   August 6, 2019   •   2330

Courtesy: Philippine Navy Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy has formally commissioned into active service BRP Conrado Yap (PS39), a former Pohang-class corvette from South Korea.

In a statement, the Philippine Navy said the warship was handed over during a commissioning ceremony held at Jinhae Naval Base in South Korea on Monday (August 5).

National Defense Assistant Secretary Jesus Rey Avilla witnessed the transfer and signed its documents with his South Korean counterpart, Logistics Management Administrator Kim Soo Sam.

The Republic of Korea Navy ship Chungju (PCC-762) was used by South Korea from 1987 to 2016.

It was given the namesake BRP Conrado Yap upon Philippine Navy commission in an aim to uphold the legacy of a Filipino soldier who served in the Korean war as part of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea. Yap, a Philippine Army captain, was considered as the most decorated Filipino soldier during the Korean war.

During the ceremony, Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad assured to take care of the ship and “will always be in shipshape condition and shall defend our country’s maritime waters with same valor as displayed by our hero Capt. Conrado Yap 68 years ago.”

The BRP Conrado Yap, which is set to sail to the Philippines this month, will be commanded by Capt. Marco Buena.

The ship is expected to beef up the Navy’s frontline defense and enhance the fleet’s Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities.

Seoul mayor bans rallies amid virus outbreak

UNTV News   •   February 21, 2020

South Korea’s capital Seoul is banning rallies and shutting down branches of the Shincheonji Church amid the country’s spike in cases of coronavirus, the city’s mayor said on Friday (February 21).

“We have decided that special measures need to be taken against spaces which induce close contact between people,” Seoul mayor Park Won-soon said at a news conference.

“Seoul will ban the use of Seoul City Hall square, Cheonggye plaza, and Gwanghwamun square, where many citizens gather,” Mayor Park added.

South Korea has 156 cases of the virus, out of which 111 patients are from or nearby Daegu, a city 237 kilometers (147 miles) southeast of the capital.

Most have been traced to an infected 61-year-old woman who attended services at a Daegu branch of the said church in recent weeks.

As of Friday, more than 400 members of the Shincheonji Church are showing symptoms of the disease and tests were still ongoing, according to Daegu mayor Kwon Young-jin. — Channel A via Reuters Connect

Fears grow in Seoul as South Korea confirms first death from coronavirus

UNTV News   •   February 20, 2020

Seoul residents said they were worried after South Korea reported on Wednesday (February 19) the first death in the country of a person infected with coronavirus.

The country has recorded 22 new cases, bringing the total to 104.

The exact cause of death is being investigated, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

Some residents called the government for proper response and measures to contain the virus.

Most of the new cases confirmed are in the city of Daegu where a person who was infected with the virus had attended church services and visited a hospital before testing positive.

(Production: Dogyun Kim, Hyunyoung Yi)

PH returns third batch of waste from South Korea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

The Philippines is set to return 50 containers of trash from the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) back to South Korea within the month.

According to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), over 6,000 tons of waste from South Korea were shipped into the Philippines in 2018. They were declared plastic waste but was reported to contain mixed non-biodegradable waste.

The first shipment of re-exportation was successfully done in January 13, 2019 which included 51 containers.

“Additional batches shall be re-exported on February 16 and February 23 which shall bring the total re-exported wastes to 201 containers and shall finally rid the country of the illegally imported wastes,” MICT Port Collector John Simon said in a statement.

Simon said that once the total of 6,500 tons of trash is returned, the Philippines will still ask South Korea to pay for damages after violating the Basel Convention.

Simon also stressed that the Bureau shall remain firm in its commitment of protecting the country’s borders from the entry of any illegal shipments including wastes that are harmful to the environment.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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