DFA lowers alert level in Iraq as security situation improves

Robie de Guzman   •   November 2, 2021   •   204

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday announced it has lowered the alert level for the whole of Iraq amid improving security situation in the said country.

In a statement, the DFA said the alert level for Iraq has been downgraded from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 due to some improvements in the security situation in the country and as requested by the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Iraq.

Alert Level 4 means mandatory repatriation while Alert Level 3 means voluntary repatriation.

“Following this development and upon the recommendation of the DFA, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board has issued Governing Board Resolution (GBR) No. 9 series of 2021, exempting returning OFWs to Iraq from the deployment ban, subject to specific conditions listed in the said resolution,” the DFA said.

The department reminded Filipinos in Iraq to continue to exercise caution, restrict movements only to those that are necessary, and keep their communication lines open with the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad.

The embassy may be reached through +9647506561740, +9647516167838, and +9647508105240, or baghdad.pe@dfa.gov.ph.


Aplikasyon para sa one-time P5,000 ayuda sa mga empleyado simula na – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Simula ngayong Lunes, Enero 24, ay tatanggap na ng aplikasyon ang Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) para sa P5,000 one-time cash assistance sa mga manggagawang labis na naapektuhan ng paghihigpit ng COVID-19 restrictions.

Ayon sa DOLE, P1 bilyon ang inilaang pondo para sa program na ang layon ay matulungan ang mga manggagawang lubhang naapektuhan sa pagsasailalim sa Alert Level 3 sa mga lugar na may mataas na COVID-19 cases.

Halos 200,000 manggagawa ang maaaring makatanggap ng ayuda sa ilalim ng COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP), ayon sa DOLE.

Pero paglilinaw ni DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay, hindi makakasama sa mga beneficiary ang mga empleyado ng gobyerno na nasa flexible work arrangement.

“Uunahin po natin sa priority iyong mga manggagawa na naapektuhan ng permamnent closure or retrenchment,” ayon sa opisyal.

“Kasama rin po sa aayudahan natin or bibigyan ng financial assistance iyong mga manggagawa under temporary closure,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa mga manggagawang nais mag-avail ng programa, maaari silang magsumite ng aplikasyon sa DOLE sa pamamagitan ng reports.dole.gov.ph.


4 provinces under COVID-19 Alert Level 4; 15 areas on Alert Level 3 – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has placed Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Northern Samar under COVID-19 Alert Level 4, Malacañang announced.

In a statement released Thursday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the new designation will be effective from January 21 until January 31.

The four provinces were previously under Alert Level 3.

Under IATF guidelines for Alert Level 4, establishments are allowed to operate at 10% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, and 30% outdoor capacity.

Operations of amusement parks, casinos, cinemas, as well as activities like contact sports and face-to-face classes are prohibited.

Meanwhile, the IATF placed the following areas under Alert Level 3:


  • Apayao
  • Puerto Princesa City
  • Masbate


  • Siquijor


  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao Oriental
  • North Cotabato
  • Sarangani
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Maguindanao
  • Basilan

Malacañang previously announced that Metro Manila and other areas will be under Alert Level 3 until January 31.

No Filipinos reported affected by underwater volcanic eruption in Tonga – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – No Filipino casualties have been reported following the massive underwater volcanic eruption that triggered tsunami warnings across the Pacific, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.

In a statement, the DFA said that as of January 18, the Philippine Embassy in Wellington has received no reports of casualties in the Filipino community in Tonga and Samoa.

The department said the Association of Filipinos in Tonga Inc. reached out to the Philippine Embassy in Wellington via email informing the latter that every Filipino citizen in the Kingdom of Tonga has been accounted for and that there are currently no casualties.

Internet and international calls, however, are still currently unavailable.

“As such, the Association of Filipinos in Tonga Inc. has requested the Philippine Embassy in Wellington to let their families know that our kababayans are safe,” the DFA said.

The department assured that the Philippine Embassy in Wellington is continuing to exhaust efforts to contact Filipinos in Tonga primarily through the use of its emergency satellite phone.

“Indications show that it might take two (2) weeks before the communications system is fully restored in Tonga,” it said.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Philippine Embassy in Wellington, will continue to closely monitor the situation in Tonga, to ensure the continued safety of our kababayans,” it added.

The volcanic eruption in Tonga that occurred on Saturday triggered a tsunami that flooded parts of the Pacific island nation.


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