US Embassy on reports Mina Chang is next envoy to PH: ‘Not true’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2019   •   1476

US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Mina Chang

MANILA, Philippines – The United States Embassy on Wednesday belied reports that a US State Department deputy assistant secretary has been appointed as America’s next ambassador to the Philippines.

In a statement, the US Embassy said reports on Mina Chang’s alleged appointment to replace current envoy Sung Kim is false.

“We’ve seen this claim. It is not true,” the Embassy said.

It added that in September 2018, the White House announced US President Donald Trump’s intent to nominate Mina Chang to be an Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development for the Bureau of Asia.

The nomination was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2019.

“There have been no additional White House announcements regarding her nomination to the USAID position,” the Embassy said.

According to the website of the US State Department, Harvard-educated Chang is currently assigned to its Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

Her profile stated that the 32-year old Korean-American diplomat has “extensive on the ground experience in conflict areas such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Before assuming government position, Chang was the chief executive officer of the non-government organization Linking the World.

She is also an advocate of global education and pushes for “proactive stabilization as a strategic tool of foreign engagement and an investment in a stronger America abroad.”

US Embassy in PH denies cancellation, suspension of tourist visa

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Embassy of the United States in the Philippines on Monday (February 10) denied reports alleging the US of cancelling and suspending tourist visa applications and renewals.

“The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines is aware of a fraudulent advisory alleging the cancellation/revocation of tourist visas and the suspension of visa applications,” the advisory reads.

“These claims are not true,” the statement reiterates.

The Embassy stressed that no changes has been officially announced regarding the U.S. visa policy in the Philippines, referring to a post circulating on social media saying the US decided to change the visa policy in the country due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus and President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

The US Embassy encourages the public to refer to its official website https://ph.usembassy.gov/ and official social media platforms which “are the best sources for accurate and current information.”

Likewise, the Embassy urged the public to report incidence of visa and passport fraud to its official page FPMManila@state.gov.

US Embassy in PH closed on Sept. 2

Robie de Guzman   •   August 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The United States Embassy in the Philippine capital has announced its offices would be closed on Monday, Sept. 2 in observance of Labor Day.

Labor Day in the US is a federal holiday which honors the American labor movement. It is celebrated every first Monday of September.

The Embassy said its regular services will resume on Tuesday, March 13.  

US Ambassador lauds ‘total rockstar’ Manila Mayor Isko

Robie de Guzman   •   July 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – “A total Rockstar,” this was how United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim called new Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso when they met on Friday.

Kim lauded Domagoso’s progressive policies and leadership style that “bring dynamism and energies” to the position.

The new mayor of the Philippine capital city recently grabbed headlines for dramatically reforming Manila’s congested roads and markets, ordering clearing operations against illegal vendors and other road obstructions.

READ: Manila Mayor Isko orders ‘shrine makeover’ near city hall

READ: Mayor Isko warns to close Manila malls with illegal vendors

Kim also commended Domagoso’s stance on the government’s campaign against drugs. The mayor earlier expressed support for the program but cautioned police to respect human rights.

“We appreciate your approach. You’re dealing with it in a manner that is consistent with human rights and rule of law,” Kim said.

Mayor Isko, who took part in the US State Department sponsored International Visitors Leadership Program in 2011, also shared with Kim his policies and plans for the City and “the core values that influence his mindset and leadership style.”

When asked by Kim on what keeps Mayor Isko awake at night, he replied: “My greatest is for the people to accept that chaos is the norm in the city.”

44-year old Domagoso was with his chief of staff, Cesar Chavez, when they paid Kim a visit on Friday morning while the US envoy was accompanied by Internal Political Chief of the Embassy Josh Morris. Their meeting lasted for nearly 45 minutes.

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