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World leaders praised the Philippines on how it hosted the ASEAN Summit

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — “We also would like to thank the Philippines also for its chairmanship achievements under each of the three ASEAN pillars including the finalization of a framework on a Code of Conduct of parties in the South China Sea,” said Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong.

Several significant agreements were also signed in the summit, including the ASEAN declaration on the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers, which will benefit more than 200,000 Filipinos working in other ASEAN countries.

Also agreed upon was the crafting of the code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea which is expected to assuage the tension in the disputed waters.

In the program, Get It straight with Daniel Razon, PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan stressed that the country has benefited a lot from the ASEAN Summit.

“ ‘Nakakain ba ang ASEAN?’ Iyan ang tanong sa atin. Hindi nakakain ang ASEAN pero yung produkto ng ASEAN pwedeng makain natin(Can you eat ASEAN? That what they ask us. We cannot eat ASEAN but we can eat the products created by ASEAN),” said Ablan.

“Halimbawa sa larangan ng ekonomiya, pag bumibili tayo ng bagay-bagay sa palengke o sa supermarket, di niyo ba na notice na medyo bumaba na ang presyo ng mga produkto na galing sa ibang ASEAN member states? Malaki ang binaba. Hindi po smuggled yun. Dala po yun ng ASEAN kasi nagkaroon po ng agreement ang sampu, yung free trade natin wala pong papatawan ng tax,” said Ablan.

(Translation: For example, in the field of economics, when you buy goods in the market or supermarket, have you not noticed the decrease in prices of goods that are from ASEAN member states? There is a significant decrease. These are not smuggled goods. It was made possible by the ASEAN through the free trade agreement between the 10 member-states; no taxes will be imposed.)

The cut down on airfare going to and from ASEAN member states is also a result of the summit.

Ablan stressed that, although guaranteed, other benefits from the ASEAN Summit will not be immediately felt.

“Hindi niyo nararamdaman overnight (It will not be realized overnight). It takes time pero (but) the way everything is cheaper now, it is the result of a collaboration such as ASEAN,” said the assistant secretary.

The government spending for the ASEAN Summit has totaled to more than 15 billion pesos.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), however, clarified that the said fund had not been used only for this week’s gathering of leaders but also since the beginning of the country’s preparations wherein several ASEAN meetings had also taken place. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

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Taiwan approves stringent measures to protect migrant workers’ rights

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Abusive employers will face up to 300,000 NT (P500,000) fine under the newly amended Employment Service Act.

Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan approved the measure on third reading in early November which prohibits employers from keeping the migrant worker’s passport or any identity document such as work permit without the consent of the person.

Under the amended law, any employer or employment agency proven to have abused the rights of migrant workers in the country will be sanctioned.

According to the Ministry of Labor, employers who are subject of complaints will be fined from 60,000NT (P100,000) up to 300,000NT (P500,000).

Meanwhile, for grave offenses such as sexual assault, human trafficking, physical abuse and homicide that have been reported within 24 hours from the time of the incident will incur the suspect a fine of 300,000NT to 1.5-M Taiwan dollars (P2M).

Apart from the high price of monetary penalty, brokers or agencies in question will also face revocation of permit to operate.

The said measures are in line with the government’s efforts to protect the rights of migrant workers whose roles have been vital in Taiwan’s economy.

Based on records of Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor, there are around 700,000 migrant workers in Taiwan as of 2018 with most numbers working in the manufacturing sector. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

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Bayan Muna urges SC to resolve petition questioning legality of PH-China joint seismic undertakings

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

FILE PHOTO: West Philippine Sea

The group Bayan Muna urges the Supreme Court to resolve their petition questioning the legality of the Joint Marine Seismic Undertakings (JMSU) of China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

The petition against the tripartite agreement was filed 10 years ago during the time of former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The group claims the agreement violates the Constitution and has adverse and grave effects against the Philippines.

Bayan Muna filed the fresh motion a day after the Philippines and China signed a memorandum of understanding on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea.

“Nangangamba kami na itong joint exploration na naman sa China mababaon sa utang ang Pilipinas in exchange for corruption-ridden din na kontrata. Tuso ang Tsina, huwag pagkatiwalaan ang Chinese government,” said former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Thailand accepts ASEAN Chairmanship for 2019 , vows to ‘advance partnership for sustainability’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018

 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong formally hands over the ASEAN chairmanship to Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha during the closing ceremony of the 33rd Asean Summit on November 15, 2018.

 

SINGAPORE – The Chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was finally handed over by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha at the conclusion of the 33rd ASEAN Summit on Thursday (November 15).

In his closing remarks, the outgoing ASEAN Chair Prime Minister Lee thanked all ASEAN members and outside partners for the support towards Singapore’s vision of a resilient and innovative ASEAN.

He presented an infographic that reflects all the initiatives that ASEAN was able to established under Singapore’s leadership this year.

He called on all ASEAN members to maintain the spirit of unity and “continue to think regionally” despite individual and national interests.

“This is just the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for us. We are not and never will be done building and strengthening the ASEAN Community. We must continue to uphold the ASEAN friendship framework and engage our partners, keep our region open. We must be on the core of economic integration and pool our talents and resources to improve our people’s lives,” Prime Minister Lee said.

“Singapore has full confidence that Thailand as the incoming ASEAN chair will continue to take ASEAN forward and will uphold to continue working with the rest of the ASEAN family to fulfill our common goal – one vision, one identity, one community,” he added as he formally handed over the chairmanship to Thailand.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha in his acceptance speech vowed that: “Thailand will continue the good work on issues to which ASEAN has given priority in the past years.”

Specifically, PM Prayuth emphasized the ASEAN Smart Cities Network which aims at ensuring continuity and and sustainability in the ASEAN community.

He noted that since the establishment of ASEAN in 1967, it is commendable that the regional bloc has grown into becoming “a community and a region of peace and security” and has grown as the 6th largest economy in the world with roles recognized internationally.

He hopes that ASEAN will be able to grow to become the 4th largest economy in 2030.

The Thai prime minister acknowledges that there are a number of challenges ahead and so he encouraged all ASEAN member states to continue working in unity.

“All 10 countries must collaborate even more closely on the foundation of ASEAN unity on the principle of three M’s – mutual trust; mutual respect; and mutual benefit – to realize concrete deliverables and sustainability for ASEAN in all dimensions,” he said.

Before he ended his speech, the incoming Chair announced next year’s ASEAN theme which is “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.”

In accordance with the regional grouping’s rotating chairmanship, Singapore will again have its turn as host of the ASEAN in year 2028. – Marje Pelayo

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