PH extends UK travel ban to Jan. 14, 2021

Marje Pelayo   •   December 28, 2020   •   672

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) as directed by President Rodrigo Duterte, has extended the travel ban for flights coming from the United Kingdom (UK) for two more weeks after December 31.

“Consequently, all passengers who have been to the UK in the last 14 days prior to arrival in the country are still restricted entry until January 14, 2021,” according to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente.

The ban follows reports of a new strain of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the UK, which is reportedly 70% more infectious.

READ: PH announces entry ban of all UK flights starting Dec. 24

Currently, the BI is implementing a strict 100% passport inspection to determine the travel history of arriving passengers in the last 14 days.

Meanwhile, the BI vowed to expedite the Implementing Rules and Regulations for Executive Order No. 122 or the Strengthening Border Control Through the Adoption and Implementation of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS).

The APIS is an electronic communications system that collects biographic data on passenger or crew, which is transmitted to the BI prior to arrival, and allows for early vetting on the admissibility of an arriving alien.

“The API system is very timely, as apart from protecting the country from aliens with derogatory records, it would allow us to deny the boarding of passengers who have a travel history to the UK in the last 14 days, instead of having to detect them upon arrival in the country,” Morente said.

Duterte thanks outgoing British envoy Pruce for help in accessing more COVID-19 vax shots

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte thanked outgoing British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce for his role in improving the Philippines’ access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Duterte expressed his gratitude when Pruce made his farewell call in Malacañang on Wednesday (August 4).

In a statement issued by the Palace, Duterte thanked the United Kingdom for donating 415,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Philippines’ vaccination drive.

“President Duterte cited Ambassador Pruce’s personal role in improving vaccine access for the Philippines eventually leading to the conclusion of the innovative Tripartite Agreement between the government of the Philippines (GPH), local government units (LGU), and private sector for the procurement of AstraZeneca vaccines,” the statement read.

Duterte also congratulated Pruce for a successful tour of duty, crediting him for the “revitalization of the United Kingdom’s economic and political presence in the Philippines through high-level exchanges and dialogues.”

Meanwhile, the president called for the finalization of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Recruitment of Filipino healthcare professionals to ensure fair, ethical, and sustainable recruitment and employment of Filipino healthcare workers in the United Kingdom.

“President Duterte also reiterated the Philippines’ support for the UK’s Presidency of COP26 in 2021, recognizing the UK’s bold commitments as it steers the global climate agenda towards urgent climate action,” the Palace said.

Pruce, for his part, thanked Duterte for the Philippines’ support of the UK’s dialogue partnership with ASEAN, and in its efforts to further strengthen bilateral ties across a broad range of areas, including political and defense cooperation, trade and investments, people-to-people exchanges, and fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

He also stressed the importance placed by the UK on its relations with the Philippines and further underscored that the Philippines-UK diplomatic cooperation will continue to grow.

PH receives UK-donated AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has received the shipment of COVID-19 vaccines that were donated by the United Kingdom (UK).

The shipment, containing 415,040 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots, arrived in Manila on Monday afternoon.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., along with outgoing UK Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce, and Foreign Affairs Office of European Affairs Assistant Secretary Jaime Leda welcomed the arrival of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

This is part of the 100 million vaccine doses pledged by the British government to developing countries, including the Philippines, through the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.

Pruce said the donation is a “powerful illustration of countries working together,” as he noted the strong collaboration of the United Kingdom and the Philippines in addressing the global health crisis.

“The United Kingdom has been able to donate these 4,015,040 vaccines and it will be wonderful to see in the coming days and weeks, the government of the Philippines deploy and administer these vaccines,” He said.

As of August 1, the Philippines has administered a total of 20,863,544 COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Of this number, 11,747,581 Filipinos have received their first dose, while 9,115,963 individuals are now fully vaccinated.

 

UK to donate 415,000 shots of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to PH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is set to receive more than 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that were donated by the United Kingdom (UK), the British Embassy said on Wednesday.

In a statement, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the AstraZeneca vaccine shots bound for the Philippines are part of the first batch of 100 million doses that the UK pledged to donate to low-income countries worldwide.

“The UK is sending 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to the Philippines. This is part of the first batch of the 100 million doses we’ve pledged to get the poorest parts of the world vaccinated as a matter of urgency,” Raab said.

“We’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won’t be safe until everyone is safe,” he added.

The British embassy said the vaccines are expected to start leaving the UK this week.

The UK has pledged to donate 100 million vaccines overseas by June 2022. Around 80 million of which will go to World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility, with the rest going to countries directly

“The donations follow the pledge that G7 leaders made to vaccinate the world and end the pandemic in 2022,” the embassy said.

“This week’s deployment will help meet the urgent need for vaccines from countries around the world, including in Africa, South East Asia and the Caribbean. These regions are experiencing high levels of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” it added.

The Philippine government earlier said it has so far secured a total of 164 million vaccine doses from different vaccine manufacturers for this year through purchase as well as donations coming from the COVAX facility and other donor countries.

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