DFA chief signs VFA termination notice

Maris Federez   •   February 11, 2020   •   480

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday (Feb. 11) signed the termination notice for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States.

Locsin said the notice, which will take effect after 180 days, was already sent to the US Embassy and was received by the deputy chief of mission.

“The Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States has received the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement. As a diplomatic courtesy, there will be no further factual announcements following this self-explanatory development,” the DFA chief said.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay confirmed that Locsin has signed the termination notice upon the directive of the president.

“On the order of the President [Rodrigo Duterte] thru Executive Secretary [Salvador] Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Locsin signed today the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, which will [be] delivered to the US Embassy in Manila forthwith,” Dulay said.

The DFA move comes barely a week after Locsin said in his opening remarks at a Senate hearing that abrogating the VFA might have a negative impact on the relationship between the country and the US, pointing out that a vigorous review of the military agreement is called for.

On January 23, President Rodrigo Duterte issued an ultimatum to the US government to rectify the visa cancellation of his long time ally Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa within 30 days or he would abrogate the two-decade-old military accord. — /mbmf

Over 600 Filipinos repatriated from UAE back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – More than 600 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) repatriated from the United Arab Emirates have arrived in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said a total of 648 Filipino repatriates returned home on Tuesday aboard two special commercial flights from Dubai.

The flights landed separately at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

The DFA said the flights were made possible in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates government, the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai.

The department assured that repatriated Filipinos underwent appropriate airport medical protocols during their arrival.

They will also undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine against coronavirus disease as required by the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine.

LIST: Countries with travel bans and restrictions amid COVID-19 pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 29, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has released an updated list of countries with travel bans and restrictions related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In their social media post, the DFA posted the infographics on 10 countries that have updated their status on travel restrictions. The said infographics aim to inform Filipinos who are allowed to leave the Philippines.

The said countries include, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Mauritania.

“It is always best for the traveler to check ahead of travel dates with the airlines that will be used as well as with relevant Embassies or Consulates before departure or before booking a ticket,” the DFA said. AAC

Over 400 Filipinos repatriated from South Korea back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 425 stranded overseas Filipinos in South Korea have arrived in the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said the repatriated Filipinos landed in Manila on June 23 via two special flights – Korean Air KE 623 and Asiana Airlines OZ 703.

The special flights were arranged by the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, with the support of the DFA, Department of Labor and Employment, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Manila International Airport Authority in cooperation with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.

“We will continue to work hard to extend vital assistance to our nationals here in South Korea, including arranging special passenger flights for our stranded kababayans so they can be reunited with their loved ones back home,” Charge d’Affaires, a.i. (CDA) Christian De Jesus said.

Prior to their departure, the repatriated Filipinos underwent briefing on the procedures for COVID-19 testing and quarantine upon their arrival in Manila. They also received vitamins and face masks from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.

To date, the Philippine Embassy in Seoul has facilitated the return of close to 700 Filipinos in South Korea, both residents and transiting passengers, the DFA said.

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