Philippines, Canada to sign labor agreement in May

Marje Pelayo   •   April 14, 2021   •   543

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has announced that the Philippines is entering into a labor agreement with Canada for the deployment of skilled workers, teachers, and culinary workers to the North American country.

Bello said the agreement, which is set to be inked in May, involves the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) particularly concerning their personal belongings like passports and cellular phones.

Also, part of the agreement will include salary rate and working hours as well as insurance and rest days.

“Maganda itong development na ito na magkakaroon na tayo ng bilateral agreement para mabigyan ng sapat na proteksyon ang ating mga kababayan,” Bello said.

Secretary Bello noted that being the second-largest country by land area, Canada is currently underpopulated thus it needs additional workers.

Aside from Canada, labor agreements are currently on the negotiating table between the Philippines and other countries like Russia, China, and those in Eastern Europe specifically the Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland.

There is also high demand for caregivers in Israel, Bello said.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department is expecting approval on an additional budget from the national government for the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers since the P6.2 billion budget given to the agency has already been used up. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Canada approves Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, shipment to arrive soon

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pleased to announce on Thursday (December 9) that the country’s Ministry of Health already approved the purchase and use of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

In a series of tweets, the Canadian Prime Minister said they are expecting 30,000 doses of the vaccine on Monday (December 14) to arrive at 14 points of shipment across Canada.

Before the end of the year, Canada is set to receive up to 249,000 doses more.

Health Minister Patty Hadju commended the efforts of Canadian health experts in making the procurement of the vaccines possible.

Despite the arrival of COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Trudeau reminded Canadians not to let their guards down and observe public health guidelines to curb transmissions.

He encouraged Canadians to stay updated by downloading the government’s #COVID-19Alert app for latest news.

Canada shuts borders to foreign nationals in bid to slow coronavirus

UNTV News   •   March 17, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canada closed its borders to all foreign nationals except U.S. citizens and permanent residents on Monday (March 16), with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging people to stay at home to help stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

“We will be denying entry into Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents,” Trudeau told reporters at a news conference outside his home, where he is under quarantine.

“All Canadians as much as possible should stay home.”

The death toll in Canada jumped to four on Monday, from one on Sunday. All three new deaths were reported by the Pacific province of British Columbia.

Health officials say they have found about 350 cases of COVID-19 across all 10 provinces.

Trudeau acted after the premiers of the two most populous provinces – Ontario and Quebec – urged him to clamp down on the borders.

“These measures will help save lives,” he said, adding that trade would not be affected.

Canada shares a long unguarded frontier with the United States, which takes 75% percent of Canadian goods exports.

Asked why U.S. citizens were exempt, Trudeau said the close bilateral integration meant the United States was in a different category from other nations but added that more measures could be announced soon.

Trudeau said Canadians should not travel outside the country and urged citizens who were abroad to return home. He also said Canada would reroute all international flight arrivals to four airports – Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver.

Canada has also imposed tougher screening requirements.

The Canada Border Services Agency said all travelers arriving from any international destination would now be told to self-isolate for 14 days.

Some visitors who flew into Canada over the weekend told reporters they had not undergone any screening.

Trudeau has said his Liberal government will soon announce a major stimulus package to help those hit economically by the outbreak. (Reuters)

(Production: Katharine Jackson)

Canada’s Trudeau self-isolates as wife is tested for coronavirus

UNTV News   •   March 13, 2020

Justin Trudeau is embraced by his wife Sophie Gregoire as he watches results at his election night headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, October 19, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie are in self-isolation after she came down with flu-like symptoms and was tested for the new coronavirus, according to an official statement on Thursday (March 12).

The 48-year-old Liberal leader is exhibiting no symptoms and will continue to work from home until the results of his wife’s test comes in, the statement said. However, face-to-face meetings with provincial premiers scheduled for Thursday and Friday will instead be held by phone.

“Having recently returned from a speaking engagement in London, UK, the Prime Minister’s wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau began exhibiting mild flu-like symptoms including a low fever late last night,” the statement from the prime minister’s office read.

“She immediately sought medical advice, and is being tested for the COVID-19 virus. She is self-isolating at home awaiting test results, and her symptoms have since subsided.”

The statement does not mention whether their three children are staying home as well.

Canada has just over 100 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, more than double the number from a week ago. With Manitoba and New Brunswick reporting their first presumptive cases in the past 24 hours, six of Canada’s 10 provinces have recorded COVID-19 contagion. (Reuters)

(Production: Soren Larson)

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