2 Filipino workers killed in Saudi fire

admin   •   May 22, 2018   •   7834

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Two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were killed in a blaze that struck their  construction site in Saudi Arabia early Sunday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement released Monday.

The victims were identified as Jessie Alata Pacetes and Reynaldo Barroga Castro, both heavy equipment drivers and operators employed by a major Saudi construction company that was working on a road project in Najran.

Consul General Edgar Badajos said the two victims died in their sleeping quarters at their jobsite located some 60 kilometers from Najran.

The Department of Foreign Affairs expressed its sympathies to the families of the victims.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of our two kababayan who lost their lives in the tragedy,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said after he was informed of the incident.

He added that the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has sent a team in Najran to work out arrangements with the employer for the immediate repatriation of the remains of the victims and secure whatever benefits that are due them.

Although the fire was believed to have been caused by faulty electrical wiring, the Philippine Consulate is seeking confirmation from local authorities on the real cause of the fire. — UNTV News & Rescue

DOLE prepares for repatriation of OFWs who died of COVID-19 from Saudi

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Friday said it is now preparing for the repatriation of the bodies of Filipino workers who succumbed to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and other causes in several regions of Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said their preparations include a set of protocols from the Department of Health on the handling, reception, and domestic transport of those who died from COVID-19.

Bello said they will be repatriating the remains of 152 Filipinos in Saudi Arabia who succumbed to COVID-19 and 149 others who died from various causes.

The labor chief said the bodies will be flown home by early next month after he was able to secure the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the repatriation process.

Based on initial preparations, two chartered planes will separately fly the coronavirus fatalities and those who died of other causes.

The bodies will be transported from various points to Riyadh and Jeddah, and will be flown back to the country by the second week of July.

Bello said the three Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) that will be involved in the process will have to abide by the strict guidelines of both the Saudi and Philippine governments in the transport of the remains.

Families will be notified of the arrival of the remains of their loved ones, along with their respective local government units (LGU) to allow their domestic transport, DOLE said.

Upon arrival in the country, the bodies of COVID-19 victims will be transported, with the help of the Department of National Defense, directly to the crematoriums of choice of the family or the LGU.

The remains of those who died of natural or other causes, meanwhile, will be allowed to be fetched at the airport by their respective families.

Fire hits three warehouses in Malabon

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 8, 2020

A fire razed three warehouses in Malabon on Monday morning (June 8).

According to the Malabon Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the fire began around 1: 45 a.m. and reached 4th alarm. Fire authorities have been putting out the fire for over 12 hours.

The fire began in one of the warehouses in Barangay Potrero and it spread to the two adjacent warehouses. According to Malabon BFP Chief Investigator SFO4 Rogerio Gayon, all the warehouses were filled with appliances.

“Marami siyang naka-store na mga kagaya noong mga TV. Kaya noong nasunog siya, iyong apoy, baka may nasa ilalim kaya kailangang halukayin, he said.

Based on the initial report of the BFP, damage to property is estimated to reach P15-million.

Meanwhile, no casualties were reported in the incident. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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OPEC and allies agree to extend historic output cut to end of July

UNTV News   •   June 8, 2020

REUTERS – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, agreed on Saturday (June 6) to extend the historic 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) production cut till the end of July 2020.

The decision was made by the OPEC via video conference of members on Saturday to further support the rebound in international oil prices.

All participants agreed to extend the cut of 9.7 million bpd pertaining in May and June by one further month, instead of the planned reduction of 7.7 million barrels a day after this month, according to a statement published on OPEC’s website later Saturday.

The meeting recognized that the output cut carried out in May had helped garner “tentative signs of a recovery” in the global economy and oil market.

It noted that global oil demand was still expected to contract by around 9 million bpd for the whole of 2020.

Meanwhile, countries that failed to achieve 100 percent of its production cuts in May and June will make extra reductions from July to September to compensate for their failings.

All parties will also keep a close watch on the oil market, which will also be assessed at the end of this month to decide whether to extend the agreement further.

According to the Saudi Arabian energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud in the video conference, despite many uncertainties, concerted action by oil producing countries is needed to restore global confidence in the oil market.

Saudi Arabia pumped more than 12 million barrels of oil after talks with Russia and other countries broke down in March.

But during these times, the oil prices fell sharply due to the COVID-19, leading to the continuous collapse of crude oil prices.

On April 13, Saudi Arabia and Russia reached an agreement with other oil producers to cut oil output by a record 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for May and June.

Since then, international oil prices have rallied sharply, with Brent crude rising from the lowest about 16 U.S. dollars a barrel to about 40 U.S. dollars.

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