Taiwan extends visa-free privileges for Filipinos to July 2020

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2019   •   1764

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Filipinos who wish to travel to Taiwan may still enjoy its visa-free program until next year.

On Tuesday (July 2), Taiwan announced its extension of visa-free privileges for citizens of four countries – the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei and Russia.

In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said the visa-free trial which started in July 2018 showed significant growth in the number of tourist arrivals from the said countries.

Thus, the decision was reached during a cross-ministerial meeting of concerned government units who unanimously agreed to extend the program to another year or to July 31, 2020.

According to the Tourism Bureau, the visa-free program yielded a total of 2.6 million visits to the country in 2018 from nationals of 18 New Southbound Policy partner nations, most of which are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) including Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines.

Under the program, foreign nationals from the said countries need not secure a visa prior to their entry to Taiwan and may enjoy their visit for stays of up to 14 days.

DFA warns against fake Korean visa assistance services

Marje Pelayo   •   November 1, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Embassy in Seoul, South Korea is reminding Filipinos to be wary of bogus visa processing services directed at irregular migrants.

The embassy added that these fake visa providers usually advertise on Facebook enticing Filipinos who wish to acquire valid visa to be able to apply for a job in South Korea.

“Please note that there is no such service allowed by Korean authorities,” the Embassy said.

“Members of the Filipino Community are encouraged to advise kababayans not to entertain these schemes, nor spread these in social media,” it added.

ADVISORY ON BOGUS KOREAN VISA ASSISTANCE SERVICE The Philippine Embassy in Seoul wishes to remind the Filipino public…

Posted by Philippine Embassy in Korea on Wednesday, 30 October 2019

DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

Marje Pelayo   •   October 28, 2019

Iraqi protesters take part in an anti-Iraq government protest in the al-Tayaran square in central Baghdad, Iraq, 04 October 2019 (issued on 07 October 2019). A wave of unrest and violent protests in Iraq have left at least 100 people dead and thousands injured. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday (October 27) asked Filipinos to postpone any travel to Iraq in view of the ongoing unrest in the country.

In an advisory, the DFA calls on Filipinos that if travel to Iraq is inevitable or could not be delayed, avoid flights with early morning or late night arrivals in Baghdad, Basra, and the Kurdistan Region.

Also, curfews are currently imposed in several cities.

Filipinos needing assistance may contact the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad at the following information:

Mobile
(+964) 781-606-6822
(+964) 773-569-9562
(+964) 750-810-5240

E-mail
baghdad.pe@dfa.gov.ph

Facebook page
Philippine Embassy in Iraq

Two Filipinos confirmed dead in Taiwan bridge collapse

Marje Pelayo   •   October 2, 2019

Rescuers conduct a retrieval operation in the scene of the collapsed Nanfangao Bridge in Nanfangao, Yilan County, northeastern Taiwan, 01 October 2019. The arch bridge collapsed on 01 October 2019 after an oil tanker crossed on to the bridge. The structural failure caused the tanker to fall into the waterway and ignite. The accident left 12 people injured, including the tanker driver, 2 dead and 4 missing. EPA-EFE/RITCHIE B. TONGO

MANILA, Philippines – The remains of two Filipino fishermen were finally recovered on Wednesday (October 2) after they went missing when the 140-meter Nanfang’ao Bridge collapsed over them in Yilan, Taiwan, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) confirmed in a statement.

The two Filipinos were identified as Andree Abregana Serencio and Gorge Jagmis Impang.

Meanwhile, search and rescue operation is still on-going on the site as one Filipino fisherman identified as Romulo Ilustrisimo Escalicas Jr., remains missing.

“We will assist in the repat of human remains and to process all benefits and entitlements arising from the accident,” assured Rolly Francia, Information and Public Service Director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Francia noted that Impang’s next of kin will receive all benefits as he is an active member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Serencio, however, has no active record of membership since 2017.

According to Yilan Fire Bureau, the bodies of Impang and Serencio were among the missing fishermen in the tragedy.

The other two recovered bodies were those of the two Indonesian fishermen Wartono and Ersona, according to authorities.

Nine other fishermen were injured in the incident, including five Filipinos who, according to DOLE were all brought to Poai Hospital and Kong Min Hospital in Yilan County.

The five fishermen are now safe.

“Nagpadala kami ng mga tao doon both sa MECO at sa OWWA Welfare Officer natin para matulungan yung mga kababayan natin, (We have representatives from MECO and OWWA to help them,)” assured MECO Chairman Angelito Banayo.

“Kinausap din (natin) iyong mga agencies at mga ahente nitong mga ito para masiguradong sagot ng kanilang insurance, (We also coordinated with their agencies and agents to make sure they receive the insurance benefits),” he concluded. MNP (with details from Amiel Pascual)

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