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

Marje Pelayo   •   May 19, 2021   •   1651

 

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.

Philippines gets another 3M doses of Sinovac vaccines

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Another three million doses of CoronaVac from China arrived in the Philippines on Sunday (September 19) bringing the total number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the country to 62,359,810 since February.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Police Major Marvin Oloab witnessed the arrival of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) past 6:00 p.m. via a commercial Philippine Airlines flight.

Galvez said the newest vaccine shipment will be distributed to Regions 3, 4-A, 7, 11 and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Galvez admitted that the national government is facing challenges in vaccinating the senior citizens due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Talagang ayaw lumabas ng mga matatanda para magpabakuna dahil takot pa rin ngayon dahil tumaas ang kaso,” he said.

“Palagay ko, kapag bumaba na ang kaso natin later on [at] iyong mga nabakunahan na mga senior [ay] lumabas na, palagay ko, magkakaroon ng incentives for all our seniors to go out,” Galvez added.

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DFA temporarily closes NCR West consular office as 7 staff contract COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advises the public that the operations of its consular office (CO) located at SM City in Manila are temporarily suspended from Monday to Tuesday (September 20-21).

This, after seven staff of DFA CO NCR-West contracted COVID-19, while others have been identified as close contacts.

The consular office has been temporarily closed for thorough disinfection of its premises and to comply with the isolation and quarantine guidelines imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Department of Health (DOH).

“Affected applicants for this period will receive an email providing them the details of their alternative passport appointment,” the advisory said.

For further updates, CO NCR-West can be reached by phone through the following numbers: (02) 8536-9995 and 0920-503-7256, or via the following email addresses:

* Email: ncrwest.so@dfa.gov.ph, dfancrwest@gmail.com
* For Passport Processing Concerns: dfancrwest.passport@gmail.com
* For Authentication Processing Concerns: dfancrwest.authentication@gmail.com
* For Passport/Apostille Releasing Concerns: dfancrwest.releasing@gmail.com

The department urges applicants to only refer to the official DFA platforms for announcements and updates.

DFA temporarily closes consular offices in Santiago, Tagum

Maris Federez   •   September 13, 2021

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has suspended the operations of its consular offices (CO) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, and in Santiago City, Isabela from 10-14 September 2021 and 13-17 September 2021, respectively.

In a statement, the DFA said the personnel in the said consular offices have been infected with COVID-19 and other personnel has been identified as close contacts.

“As such, the COs have temporarily suspended operations to conduct thorough disinfection of its premises and to comply with the isolation and quarantine guidelines imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Diseases,” the statement said.

Affected applicants in CO Santiago with supposed appointments from 13-17 September 2021 will receive an email providing them the details of their alternative passport appointment.

Meanwhile, affected applicants in CO Tagum with supposed appointments from 10-14 September 2021 will be given new schedules from 15-24 September 2021.

The advisory added that applicants that require emergency or urgent consular services may contact CO Tagum by email (tagum.co@dfa.gov.ph / dfatagumconcerns@gmail.com /) or via landline (084 216 – 9846).

The CO Tagum will resume its regular operations on Wednesday, 15 September 2021, the statement further read.

The DFA said that it requested the public’s continued understanding as the department adheres to the prescribed measures against the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of personnel and applicants.

Likewise, the Department urges applicants to ONLY refer to the official DFA platforms for announcements and updates.

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