PH-Sri Lanka strengthen ties; sign 5 bilateral agreements

Marje Pelayo   •   January 17, 2019   •   1924


President Rodrigo Duterte and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena witnessed the signing of five agreements during the latter’s historic visit to the country.

The Sri Lankan President is in the country for a five-day state visit from January 15 to January 19, the first for Sri Lanka after 43 years.

The two heads of state agreed to further enhance the relationship of the two countries through cooperation in defense, agriculture, tourism, education and scientific research.

“The Philippines and Sri Lanka are developing maritime nations. We face common challenges, we have shared interests, and we are united by our desire to provide greater peace, progress and prosperity for our peoples,” President Duterte said.

“These realities and aspirations behoove upon us to work together even more closely to provide renewed impetus and clearer direction for a greatly expanded partnership,” he added.

Meanwhile, President Sirisena invited President Duterte to visit his country ‘at an early date’ to further expand bilateral ties.

“I have extended an invitation to President Duterte to undertake a State Visit to Sri Lanka at an early date. President Duterte, your visit to Sri Lanka will provide an opportunity to evaluate the progress of the initiatives which we have discussed during my visit. I look forward to welcome you and Madam Duterte. We will carry forward our discussion and consider further steps, to manifest thoughts into deeds,” the Sri Lankan president said.

During his stay in the country, President Sirisena will visit the Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños and address the Sri Lankan community In Manila. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Philippines to lift travel ban on 10 countries starting September 6

UNTV News   •   September 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to lift the current travel restrictions on travelers from 10 countries starting September 6, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced in a statement on Saturday.

These countries are namely:  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nonetheless, international travelers coming from the said countries shall comply with the appropriate entry, testing and quarantine protocols, depending on the country’s approved “listing,” Roque said.

He added that the IATF has adopted the “Yellow” and “Red” classifications, in addition to the “Green List” countries/jurisdictions/territories.

Roque said this is based on the countries’ respective incidence rates and case counts as primary criteria, and testing data as secondary criteria.  The incidence rate is the cumulative new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population while case counts are cumulative new cases over the past 28 days.

The government first imposed the travel restrictions on India in April then later expanded to include more countries to stem the spread of Delta variant, the highly transmissible strain of COVID-19.

 

PH extends ban on travelers from India to May 31; adds Oman, UAE in travel restrictions

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has extended its existing ban on travelers from India until May 31 to prevent the spread of a coronavirus variant first detected in the South Asian nation, Malacañang said.

In a statement on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said passengers coming from India are still not allowed to enter the Philippines until 2359H of May 31, 2021.

The Philippines also extended its travel ban for passengers coming from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka in the same period.

Roque also announced the expansion of the country’s travel restrictions to include travelers coming from Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or those with travel history to these countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival.

The entry ban on travelers from Oman and the UAE will take effect on May 15 until May 31.

Roque said the ban was recommended by the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Passengers who are already in transit from the said countries or have been to the same areas within 14 days and arrived in the Philippines before May 15 will be allowed entry.

They will, however, be required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols, notwithstanding a negative Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) result.

“The Department of Transportation should ensure that airlines are directed not to allow the boarding of passengers who are prohibited from entering the country pursuant to travel restrictions imposed by the Office of the President and IATF resolutions except if they are part of the repatriation efforts of the national government,” Roque said.

PH temporarily bans entry of travelers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has expanded its entry ban on travelers to include those coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In a memorandum dated May 5, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the travel ban will be effective from May 7 to 14.

Medialdea said passengers coming from or who have been to the said countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall be prohibited from entering the country.

Passengers coming from or who have been to the same countries within 14 days and are arriving before the travel ban will be allowed entry but shall undergo facility-based quarantine for 14 days notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR test result, he added.

The memorandum also stated that all passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through these countries shall not be subjected to the procedures as long as they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry into these countries by their immigration authorities.

They also do not need to complete the 14-day quarantine period once they arrive in the Philippines, provided that they comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols of the national government.

The Philippine government earlier banned travelers from India from April 29 to May 14 due to the surge in COVID-19 cases there. The coronavirus variant first reported in India has not yet been detected in the Philippines.

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