PHL-China joint oil exploration in West PhilippineSea, more beneficial than Malampaya joint venture – DFA

admin   •   July 26, 2017   •   6298

MANILA. Philippines — It was in 1986 when the plan for a joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea was first raised between Chairman Deng Xiaoping and former President Corazon Aquino.

The project did not push through because the Constitution that time was newly revised.

Also, the plan was halted by decades of government transitions.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said that since the issue is now surfacing, he assures that the project will adhere with the provisions of the law.
“The Philippines will take a very conservative approach. Meaning we will interpret the provisions of the Constitution to be restrictive and to be beneficial to the Filipino people,” he said.

Cayetano did not mention any detail regarding his negotiation with China and there are no formal talks yet between the two countries about the issue.

What he mentioned from his talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was the possibility of creating a framework for a possible agreement.

“So we’re exploring if we can explore, right? It’s like a casual relationship, not an intimate one. It’s like we’re on a getting-to-know-stage or if there’s hope to push through with the project,” he said.

Cayetano believes it will take a long time to possibly realize a joint exploration in West Philippine Sea, taking into consideration a possible destabilization among South East Asian countries that also claim portions of the territory. — Macky Libradilla | UNTV News & Rescue

 

AFP recommends building structures in West PH Sea to assert sovereignty

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has recommended building structures in the West Philippine Sea to boost the country’s presence in the disputed territories.

AFP Chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said it would take two to three months for the country’s maritime vessels to go around the West Philippine Sea. He also added that the country’s naval assets are not enough to patrol given the scope of the area.

Due to this, the AFP and the Philippine Navy continue their modernization; however, there is a need for additional budget.

“Dagdagan ang ating modernization fund para mas marami tayong mabiling sasakyang pandagat. At isa pa itong ating procurement law kung saan napaka-rigid. Ang hirap bumili ng pangangailangan ng ating Armed Forces of the Philippines (Increase our modernization fund so that we can procure naval vessels. One more thing, the procurement law is also rigid. It is difficult to procure for the needs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines),he said.

Aside from additional naval ships, the AFP also recommends building structures including cold storage facilities, light houses, and rest areas for Filipino fishermen.

“We are also entertaining the idea, of course, subject to the wisdom of NTF-WPS na magtatayo ng istruktura sa naturang lugar katulad ng ginagawa rin ng China. Kasi ang dahilan kung bakit hindi tayo nagtatayo diyan noong araw kasi may napag-uusapan na wala dapat magpatayo (to build structures in the said areas similar to what China has done. We did not build any structures there previously because it was discussed not to do so),” Sobejana said.

Meanwhile, the AFP did not elaborate if the structures would also include military headquarters. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

More than 1,200 BI frontliners to get COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday announced it will roll out the COVID-19 vaccination for its frontline workers this weekend.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said they are looking to inoculate a total of 1,250 immigration personnel starting this April 24 to 25.

Immigration personnel eligible for vaccination will receive government-procured Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab, which will be administered in two doses in an interval of 28 days.

A pre-screening will be conducted on the medical history of the officers to determine those who are eligible to receive the vaccine.

“We have scheduled vaccination of our eligible employees on a weekend so as not to hamper our daily operations,” Morente said.

Adhering to the priority list given by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the BI will start vaccinating employees who are senior citizens and persons with co-morbidities.

“The continuous rise of COVID-19 cases accentuates the need to vaccinate our frontliners, especially those belonging in the most vulnerable group such as the seniors and persons with co-morbidities. We want to assure their safety from the threat of the deadly virus,” Morente shared.

BI Deputy Commissioner and Chairperson of the bureau’s COVID-19 Task Force Aldwin Alegre said that despite vaccine rollout among immigration officers, they will continue to implement basic health protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields, maintaining physical distancing, and checking body temperatures.

“Our frontliners are one of the most exposed and have a high risk of contracting the highly transmissible virus. As such, we will continue to make sure that all health protocols are being followed,” Alegre said.

“I am confident that as our officers get their jabs, we will be able to carry out our mandate better and with less worry,” he added.

The BI has so far recorded 300 COVID-19 infections among its personnel.

A4 group not yet up for COVID-19 vaccination; guidelines out soon – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The inoculation of frontline workers listed under the fourth priority group (A4) for COVID-19 vaccination has yet to start because the government is still crafting the prioritization guidelines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

“We are drafting the guidelines right now,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing, adding that it will be released soon after the DOH met with vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and some representatives from the private sector.

Vergeire said they are also coordinating with the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) for the drafting of the guidelines.

 “Kailangan lang natin ipaliwanag uli at ipagbigay alam sa ating mga kababayan, hindi pa nag-uumpisa ang A4 natin na pagbabakuna. So andun pa rin tayo sa simultaneous vaccinations ng A1 to A3,” she said.

The A4 sector is composed of workers or frontline personnel in essential sectors who have high levels of interaction with the public and economic sectors that are needed to ensure security, consumer and worker safety, and those working in priority government projects.

The A4 priority list includes the following:

  • Workers in commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics
  • Public and private wet and dry market vendors
  • Frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services
  • Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
  • Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
  • Frontline workers in private and government financial services
  • Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments
  • Priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders
  • Security guards/ personnel assigned in offices, agencies, and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
  • Frontline workers in private and government news media
  • Customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution and water distribution utilities
  • Frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies
  • Overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months
  • Frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
  • Frontline government workers engaged in the operations of the government transport system, quarantine inspection;
  • Worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities
  • Frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel
  • Diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel in consular operations
  • Department of Public Works and Highways personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure projects

The Philippines has so far vaccinated over 1.3 million individuals who are part of the first three priority groups – healthcare workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with co-morbidities (A3).

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