Repatriated OFWs due to COVID-19 outbreak exceeds 174k – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2020   •   446

MANILA, Philippines – The number of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) repatriated due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has reached more than 174,000, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement on Sunday, the DFA said it brought home 9,671 OFWs last week, bringing the total to 174,039 since it began its repatriation efforts in February 2020.

Of the total number, 61,716 are sea-based workers while 112,323 are land-based, the agency added.

“The DFA remains relentless in facilitating more flights, particularly from the Middle East. This week, the DFA brought home more than 7,500 of our nationals from the said region via 27 special commercial repatriation flights,” it said.

The department said 11 of these flights were from the United Arab Emirates, seven from Saudi Arabia, four form Qatar, three from Bahrain, and one each from Kuwait and Oman.

“The return of Filipino seafarers also continues as the DFA facilitated the repatriation of more than 2,800 sea-based workers, including a Filipino fisherman who drifted to the waters of Central Sulawesi in April 2020,” it said.

The DFA added that it also extended assistance to “a cancer patient who finally arrived home in Manila on board a special commercial repatriation flight from Thailand last Wednesday.”

In a separate statement on Sunday, the department said the patient was among the 76 Filipinos brought home from Thailand on Wednesday.

“The DFA, together with its Philippine embassies, consulates and attached agencies around the world, remains fully committed to bringing home our nationals abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.

DFA warns vs ‘travel exemption fee’ scam targeting foreigners

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday warned the public against a travel fee scam targeting foreign nationals who wish to enter the Philippines amid imposed travel restrictions.

In an advisory the DFA said they received reports of a “travel exemption fee” that supposedly allows the entry of foreign nationals into the country.

The DFA reiterated that it does not collect such fees “or any kind of fee whatsoever for the purpose of allowing foreign nationals to enter the country.”

“Foreign nationals should be guided by the latest advisory of the Bureau of Immigration as to who are allowed to enter the Philippines during the State of Public Health Emergency,” the advisory reads.

The foreign affairs department also said travel restrictions are still being implemented in the country amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. AAC

DFA Consular Office in Legazpi, Albay suspends operations until Nov. 12

Marje Pelayo   •   November 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) informs the public that its Consular Office in Legazpi, Albay will be closed on Wednesday (November 11), due to inclement weather brought by Tropical Storm Ulysses.

The announcement is in line with Disaster Risk Reduction Management/ Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (DRRM/CCAM) Council Advisory No. 25 s. 2020 of the city government of Legazpi.

The Consular Office – Legazpi will resume its regular operations on Thursday (November 12), unless otherwise advised.

In view of this, affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing the Consular Office at legazpi.rco@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

– Name

– Date of birth

– Original appointment date and time

– Preferred date and time of new appointment

The preferred new appointment may be on any working day from Monday to Friday from November 12 to December 11 during the Consular Office regular operation hours from 10:00AM to 5:00PM.

Applicants who need an emergency or urgent consular service may email the Consular Office  at legazpi.rco@dfa.gov.ph. 

Formal charge served vs ex-PH envoy to Brazil over alleged staff mistreatment — Locsin

Robie de Guzman   •   November 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A formal charge has been served on former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro over her alleged acts of abuse against her Filipina household service staff, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Monday.

On his Twitter account, Locsin said the formal charge was served on Mauro on Monday morning and that he has already informed President Rodrigo Duterte about it.

“Charge served on her at 8:25 a.m. today. I sent a Memo to the President on it,” he said.

“The Hearing Panel’s report and charge will be passed upon and approved/disapproved by the Board of Foreign Service Administration; and finally by the Secretary. It shouldn’t take too long,” he added.

Mauro returned to the Philippines last week after she was recalled from her post following the release of video footage showing her berating and mistreating her household staff.

Locsin earlier said he has formed a panel to look into the series of alleged physical abuse that Mauro committed against her household helper.

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