Singapore seizes largest haul of elephant ivory to-date
Robie de Guzman • July 24, 2019 • 1254
Singapore said on Tuesday (July 23) that it had seized 8.8 tonnes (9.7 tons) of elephant ivory, a record haul by authorities in the city-state.
Conservation groups said the city-state is a transit point for the illegal wildlife trade.
The elephant ivory, estimated to be worth $12.9 million, came from nearly 300 African elephants and was heading to Vietnam through Singapore from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The haul also contained the third major seizure of pangolin scales in Singapore this year — 11.9 tonnes (13.1 tons) of scales, worth about $35.7 million.
The ivory haul falls just short of 9.1 tonnes seizure in Vietnam in March, which non-government organization Environmental Investigation Agency said was thought to be the largest ever globally.
Singapore is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and said it is committed to the global effort to curb the illegal wildlife trade. (REUTERS)
MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Singapore are not required to get inoculated against COVID-19 before they are allowed into the city-state.
Labor Attaché in Singapore Saul De Vries said that vaccines are not part of the arrival protocols in the city-state but still the government of Singapore is implementing strict quarantine protocols due to the recurrence of COVID-19 cases.
“It is not a condition for OFWs to be inoculated before departing for their jobs. However, the Singapore government requires them to undergo a 21-day institutional quarantine and take RT-PCR test thrice,” De Vries said.
Following the recurrence of cases, De Vries said the Singapore government has temporarily suspended the entry approval applications of foreign workers from high-risk countries.
“Hopefully, such regulation or policy will be reviewed this coming July when cases of COVID-19 infection have slowed down,” he added.
Based on the Labor Department’s records, there are around 200,000 Filipinos in Singapore, 180,000 of whom consist of professionals, skilled workers, household service workers, healthcare workers, and those working in the service sector of the tourism and information technology industries.
De Vries also announced that POLO-Singapore has recently approved over 200 job orders (JOs) for vaccinators with a monthly salary, ranging from 1,800 to 2,000 SGD or equivalent to a little over P63,000.
“Aside from the 200 vaccinators, the demand for household service workers is still high in Singapore,” he added.
While it is not mandatory for OFWs to be vaccinated before they enter Singapore, De Vries said that migrant workers are included in the vaccination program of the government. OFWs are therefore highly encouraged to get inoculated, as this is the best way to fight the spread of the virus.
“I believe that most, if not all, of our OFWs in the healthcare industry have already been vaccinated, since they are included in the priority group listing,” De Vries said.
Despite the scaling down of POLO operations in Singapore, the office managed to distribute financial assistance of $200 or P10,000 under DOLE’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program to OFWs who either lost their jobs or experienced wage reduction, as well as those who contracted COVID-19.
Food packs, essential hygiene kits as well as physical and mental health and wellness activities have been provided for migrant Filipino workers especially the distressed ones to help them cope with their daily lives while community quarantines are enforced.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have received 50,000 units of COVID-19 swab test kits from the Singapore Ministry of Defense.
The donated test kits were turned over to the DND and the AFP on Thursday, April 15.
The DND said the test kits will be issued to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) and the AFP Medical Center (AFPMC).
The VMMC, which is mandated to provide quality medical care and treatment to veterans and their dependents, is under the purview of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).
The AFPMC, meanwhile, provides medical care to the military and civilian personnel of the AFP.
“Both PVAO and AFP are government bureaus under the DND,” the department said.
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