Japan’s PM Yoshihide cancels visit to the Philippines due to COVID threat

Marje Pelayo   •   April 22, 2021   •   258

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide

MANILA, Philippines –  Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has cancelled his planned visit to the Philippines this month in view  of the COVID-19 situation.

This was confirmed by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque saying the Prime Minister’s decision “deserves support” as both the Philippines and Japan are prioritizing their respective battles against the pandemic.

Despite the cancellation, Roque said the “strategic partnership and broad cooperation” between the two countries will remain.

Japan, sisimulan nang maglabas ng vaccine passports sa Hulyo

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2021

Sisimulan na ng Japan sa Hulyo ang paglalabas ng vaccine passports o dokumentong nagpapatunay na nabakunahan na ang isang indibidwal laban sa COVID-19.

Nais ng business leaders at iba pang mamamayan na makapag-issue na ng ganitong certificates para sa mga bumibiyahe sa labas ng bansa.

Ayon sa Japanese government, sa huling bahagi ng susunod na buwan, mag-uumpisa nang mamigay ang mga local government office ng certificates batay sa vaccination records ng mga may valid passports.

Ang European Union, kinukunsidera na ring mag-introduce ng vaccine certificates.

Japan to donate AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government of Japan will donate AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Philippines, its embassy in Manila announced on Tuesday.

“Glad to be the bearer of good news today! Japan will donate AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, and we’ll make sure to deliver them at the soonest possible time so no one gets left behind during this pandemic,” Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa said on Twitter.

In a separate announcement on social media, the embassy said the initiative is “part of Japan’s assistance to ASEAN countries and is outside of the COVAX facility.”

“More COVID-19 vaccines on their way to the Philippines! Foreign Minister [Toshimitsu] Motegi just announced today Japan’s intent to donate AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Japan to the Philippines,” the embassy said.

“Close coordination will be done with the Government of the Philippines going forward for the swift delivery of these much-needed jabs,” it added.

The embassy did not indicate how many vaccine doses the Japanese government will donate to the Philippines but Motegi said in an earlier public briefing that the vaccines will be shipped out in July.

The Philippines still has limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines even after receiving more than 8 million doses from February to May this year.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the country is expecting to receive over 10 million doses more for the month of June and 11 million by July.

The national government is eyeing to inoculate around 70 million people this year.

DOE, Japanese firm ink deal to update PH oil contingency plan

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for a study that would update the 2002 Philippine National Oil Contingency Plan, as well as provide recommendations on the creation and operation of a Strategic Petroleum (SPR) Program.

The MOA was virtually signed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and JOGMEC CEO Tetsuhiro Hosono.

“Today’s signing speaks volumes on Japan’s commitment to help the Philippines succeed in attaining its energy security goals. I take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the Japanese government and its private sector for helping us attain our long-term goals,” Cusi said in a statement.

The DOE said the agreement is an offshoot of the DOE’s collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and JOGMEC to update the 2002 METI study, “Master Plan for the Development of Stockpiling for the Philippines.”

Under the MOA, JOGMEC will conduct a study within eight months of its signing, and the parties shall have a one-year consultative period after the submission of the final report.

The main areas of the study are:

  • The international petroleum products’ supply and demand situation in the past five years and the expected growth for the next 20 years;
  • The international strategic petroleum reserve program situation in the past five years to address supply disruptions;
  • The existing international oil supply security agreements both in ASEAN and other regions of the world and how the Philippines could participate;
  • The Philippine petroleum products’ supply and demand situation in the past five years and expected growth for the next 20 years;
  • Philippine Government-owned and privately-owned crude oil and finished petroleum products’ storage facilities in the past five years and the expected growth for the next 20 years;
  • Existing Philippine policies and implementation to address petroleum products’ supply for normal demand, as well as demand for contingency/emergency response due to any international or domestic supply disruption;
  • An analysis of the gaps in the existing Philippine Government-owned and private-owned petroleum products’ storage facilities to address the existing and the expected growth in demand, as well as the contingency/emergency response during any international and domestic supply disruption;
  • An analysis of the gaps in the existing Philippine policies on contingency/emergency response to any international and domestic supply disruption;
  • An analysis of the role of the DOE, the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and other relevant government agencies to address the Philippine national petroleum products’ contingency/emergency supply strategies and measures;
  • Provide recommendations on the creation and operation of the Philippine PSRP;
  • Submit to DOE the recommended updated 2002 Philippine National Oil Contingency Plan incorporating all the above data, information, analysis, SPRP recommendations and the overall recommendations on how to address the Philippine national petroleum products supply security and contingency/ emergency response to any international or domestic supply disruption.

Two months after the completion of the study, JOGMEC will submit to the DOE its final output, an updated 2002 Philippine National Oil Contingency Plan, and all its corresponding relevant data and information, the department said.

They will likewise provide relevant recommendations on the creation and operation of the Philippine Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program, it added.

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