PH receives COVID-19 test kits, PCR machine from Singapore

Robie de Guzman   •   March 24, 2020   •   936

PH receives COVID-19 test kits, PCR machine from Singapore

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday confirmed it has received the test kits for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine from Singapore.

In a statement, the DFA said the donation was turned over by Singaporean Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

The simple turnover ceremony was joined by Health Undersecretary Mario Villaverde and Deputy Chief of Mission Zhou Suli.

The test kits and PCR machine were turned over following the signing of deed of donation at the Philippine Embassy in Singapore on Monday, March 23, the DFA said.

Locsin earlier said that Singapore will be sending some 3,000 test kits and a machine to help local health authorities detect novel coronavirus cases.

The Philippine government has sought to boost its supply of test kits, protective equipment and mask as it fights to curb the increasing cases of COVID-19.

Aside from Singapore, China also donated thousands of test kits, surgical masks and personal protective equipment which already arrived in Manila last Saturday.

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has recorded 552 confirmed infections, with 35 deaths and 20 recoveries.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the country under a state of calamity, and declared a month-long Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine to curtail the spread of the virus.

DFA logs two new COVID cases among overseas Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   June 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported two new COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad.

Likewise, three overseas Filipino workers (OFW) recovered from the infection and no new fatalities were recorded.

Overall, DFA logged a total of 20,424 cases of COVID-19 among Filipinos from different parts of the world.

Of this number, 7,108 are currently undergoing treatment.

Also, 12,096 recovered and a total of 1,220 succumbed to the disease in all 94 countries and territories around the globe.

DFA facilitates return of over 300 distressed OFWs from UAE

Maris Federez   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 325 distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFW) arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on Thursday (June 17), according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The DFA said this was the third flight from UAE especially chartered by the department this year through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) using the DFA’s Assistance to National Fund.

The DFA-OUMWA welcomed the latest group of repatriates, which included 88 pregnant distressed overseas Filipinos upon their arrival in Manila.

“To our kababayan in distress, we hear you. We are here for you,” stated DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola, stressing her vow to continue providing assistance to all OFWs in need.

“This recent arrival is a clear testament of our commitment to bring you home,” she added.

The DFA said that through the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai, the department will continue to accept applications for future repatriations from the UAE.

The previous chartered flight from the UAE last 31 June 2021, brought home 396 overseas Filipinos.

In conformity with health protocols set by the Department of Health (DOH) – Bureau of Quarantine, the repatriates will undergo stringent facility-based quarantine provided by the Philippine government. They shall also be subjected to RT-PCR Testing for COVID19.

The Philippine government upholds the One-Country Team Approach by continuously collaborating and cooperating with the DOH, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the Philippine Coast Guard to ensure the safety and welfare of our Kababayans, the DFA said. —/mbmf

Phl protests China’s unilateral fishing ban in West Philippine Sea

Marje Pelayo   •   May 19, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has rejected China’s unilateral imposition of a fishing moratorium in the South China Sea.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippines does not recognize China’s unilateral imposition of a fishing ban in the area which runs from May 1 to August 16, 2021.

“As announced by China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the ban covers ‘waters north of 12 degrees north latitude’ in the South China Sea,” the DFA said.

“These waters include areas over which the Philippines exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction,” the agency added.

The DFA explained: “According to Paragraph 716 of the Award of the South China Sea Arbitration rendered on 12 July 2016, China, by promulgating its moratorium on fishing in the South China Sea, ‘without exception for areas of the South China Sea falling within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines and without limiting the moratorium to Chinese flagged vessels, breached Article 56 of the 1982 UNCLOS with respect to the Philippines’ sovereign rights over the living resources of its exclusive economic zone.” The 2016 arbitral award also affirmed the traditional and legitimate fishing rights of Filipino fishermen.”

China’s annual fishing moratorium extends far beyond it’s legitimate maritime entitlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and is without basis under international law, the DFA said.

“China cannot legally impose nor legally enforce such a moratorium in the West Philippine Sea,” it stressed.

Thus, the Philippines strongly urges China to desist from any action and activity that infringes on Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction, in contravention of international law, the DFA said.

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