foreign affairs - updates

Rappler's latest stories on foreign affairs


Filipina in Hong Kong tests positive for novel coronavirus

Feb 19, 2020 - 7:05 PM

A 32-year-old domestic worker is Hong Kong's 61st confirmed case of infection, and the city's first Filipino COVID-19 patient

HEALTH WORKERS. Medical workers in Hong Kong are dealing with more than 60 cases of the novel coronavirus. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP

First Filipino case of novel coronavirus recovers – DFA

Feb 19, 2020 - 5:16 PM

Another 40 Filipino crew members of a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, are being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in Japan

QUARANTINE OVER. The cruise ship Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Charly Triballeu/AFP

8 more Filipino crew of Japanese cruise ship catch novel coronavirus

Feb 18, 2020 - 5:04 PM

A total of 35 Filipinos working on the ship have caught the virus

QUARANTINED. The Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Stranded OFWs may return to Hong Kong, Macau as gov't partially lifts travel ban

Feb 18, 2020 - 3:57 PM

Some 25,000 Filipinos have been urging the government to let them return to their jobs or homes in China's special administrative regions

STRANDED. Filipino travelers waiting to board their flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

PH gov't sends care packages to Filipinos quarantined on Japan cruise ship

Feb 17, 2020 - 2:25 PM

DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez says the Philippine government would help Filipino passengers if they request to be repatriated

QUARANTINED. Passengers look out from their balconies on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where around 3,600 passengers are still quarantined due to COVID-19. File photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

LOOK: DFA delivers relief goods to Filipinos in Wuhan

Feb 08, 2020 - 12:43 PM

(UPDATED) China's Wuhan City is currently on lockdown in an effort to quell the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus

RELIEF. As Wuhan City remains on lockdown, Filipino residents face travel restrictions limiting their movement. All photos from the Department of Foreign Affairs

PH expands visa suspension for travelers from China, Hong Kong, Macau

Feb 02, 2020 - 8:35 PM

The Philippines temporarily stops issuing visas to foreigners coming from China, Hong Kong, and Macau due to the novel coronavirus outbreak

A screen showing the body temperatures of arriving passengers is seen at a health monitoring station as a precautionary measure to protect against the possible spread of a SARS-like virus outbreak at Hong Kong International Airport ahead of the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong on January 23, 2020. - Hong Kong has turned two holiday camps, including a former military barracks, into quarantine zones for people who may have come into contact with carriers of the Wuhan virus, officials announced on January 23. The international financial hub has been on high alert for the virus, which has killed 17 people since the outbreak started in central China. (Photo by VIVEK PRAKASH / AFP)

Philippines calls for repatriation of Filipinos in China over coronavirus fears

Jan 30, 2020 - 10:49 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says Filipinos from Wuhan and Hubei province – ground zero for the virus – will be prioritized in its first batch of repatriates

AIRPORT WATCH. The Bureau of Quarantine monitors the thermal scanner of passengers arriving from international flights at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on January 23, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

LIST: What Filipinos in China can do amid coronavirus scare

Jan 30, 2020 - 5:44 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs provides hotline numbers and a list of hospitals to go to for medical treatment if needed

2019 CORONAVIRUS. Pedestrians wearing face masks cross a road during the Lunar New public holiday in Hong Kong on January 27, 2020, as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP

Philippines to create coronavirus hotline for Filipinos in China

Jan 29, 2020 - 10:59 PM

The dedicated hotline will provide accurate and timely information to Filipinos on Chinese social media and messaging platform WeChat

HOTLINE. People wear protective masks as they walk outside a shopping mall in Beijing on January 23, 2020. File photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

PH suspends visa issuance for travelers from Hubei over coronavirus scare

Jan 29, 2020 - 10:31 AM

The latest directive widens the scope of restrictions taken by the Philippine government to manage the novel coronavirus situation in the country

CLOSED. In this file photograph taken on January 12, 2020 a woman walks in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP

PH repatriating Filipinos in Wuhan, Hubei province who want to return home

Jan 28, 2020 - 4:03 PM

Filipinos who wish to stay in China should heed advisories from local health authorities and cooperate with efforts to quell the further spread of 2019-nCoV there, the Department of Health says

Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal implements strict precautionary measures against novel coronavirus (nCov) as they monitor arriving passengers from China using thermal scanners. Photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

DFA convenes emergency meeting on global spread of coronavirus

Jan 27, 2020 - 11:24 AM

(UPDATED) The Department of Foreign Affairs gives assurances its embassy and consulates general in China are closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak

TAKE CAUTION. The Bureau of Quarantine monitors  passengers arriving from international flights at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on January 23, 2020 amid the reports of  the 2010 novel coronavirus from China was spreading to other countries. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Repatriated OFWs from Middle East may be redeployed to other countries – DOLE

Jan 21, 2020 - 5:55 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs also admits its difficulty in convincing OFWs in the Middle East to come home, as their top concern remains to be job security

REPATRIATION. DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III says OFWs repatriated from the Middle East may be sent to other countries to work instead. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

DFA suspends consular services in Batangas on January 14

Jan 14, 2020 - 2:11 AM

Consular services in Metro Manila and Central Luzon will resume operations

SUSPENDED. The town of Agoncillo, Batangas is covered in ash on January 13, 2020, following the eruption of the Taal Volcano. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

DFA suspends consular services in NCR, Calabarzon, Central Luzon on January 13

Jan 13, 2020 - 9:42 AM

Applicants in affected areas with confirmed appointments will be accommodated until February 13, 2020

SUSPENDED. The DFA suspends consular offices in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon on January 13, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

DFA raises Alert Level 2 in Lebanon, urges Filipinos to remain vigilant

Jan 10, 2020 - 7:31 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says overseas Filipino workers with existing employment contracts and those who are registered under the Balik Manggagawa Program may still return to Lebanon

'Bugbugin mo ako!': Locsin faces off with protesters at DFA

Jan 10, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Confrontation between Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr and protesters cools down after a woman pleads with Locsin to bring her sister home

FACE-OFF. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. confronts protesters outside the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Pasay City on January 10, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Philippines orders evacuation of Filipinos in Iraq

Jan 08, 2020 - 9:53 AM

(3rd UPDATE) The Department of Foreign Affairs says Alert Level 4 calling for mandatory evacuation has been raised in the country

DFA urges Filipinos to cancel all travel to Iraq after U.S. killing of top Iran general

Jan 03, 2020 - 11:05 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs also urges Filipinos in Iraq to stay in close coordination with their employers and the Philippine embassy should mandatory evacuation become necessary

PH closely monitors kidnap of 2 Filipino sailors in Cameroon

Jan 01, 2020 - 12:22 PM

The Filipino seamen are among 8 crew members of a Greek oil tanker abducted in a port in Cameroon on New Year's Eve


PH condemns killing of yet another Filipina domestic worker in Kuwait

Dec 30, 2019 - 11:51 PM

(3rd UPDATE) The Department of Foreign Affairs summons the Kuwaiti ambassador in Manila 'to express the government’s outrage over the seeming lack of protection' of Filipino domestic workers in the Middle Eastern country

PH to bring home Filipino victims in Singapore car crash

Dec 30, 2019 - 10:09 AM

The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Singapore are now working on the repatriation of the remains of the Filipino casualties

CAR CRASH. Two Filipinos die after a car crashes outside the Lucky Plaza mall in Singapore on December 29, 2019. Photo from Twitter/@Glaizaechevarr2

LOOK: 7 more Filipinos repatriated from war-torn Libya

Dec 27, 2019 - 11:48 AM

Philippine authorities have repatriated 149 Filipinos from Libya but over 1,000 other Filipinos, mostly OFWs and their dependents, still live in Tripoli and surrounding areas

Rappler columnist Ana Santos among IOM 2019 Champions of Migration

Dec 22, 2019 - 10:00 AM

The International Organization for Migration and the Department of Foreign Affairs recognize Ana P. Santos along with Sister Rosa Angelica Libron, Dr Edna Estifania Co, and WarPeace Arnold

ANA P. SANTOS receives the 2019 Champions of Migration Award.

Locsin throws shade at U.N. court hearing on Myanmar genocide case

Dec 12, 2019 - 8:11 PM

'Judge Myanmar against the template of European pogroms, the Europe wide Holocaust,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

DEFENSE. Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi stands before UN's International Court of Justice on December 10, 2019, in the Peace Palace of The Hague, at the start of a three-day hearing on Rohingya genocide case. Photo by Koen Van Weel/ANP/AFP

LIST: DFA consular operations suspended on December 6, 7

Dec 04, 2019 - 6:41 PM

(UPDATED) The Department of Foreign Affairs advises the public to take note of the schedules of its consular offices in Zamboanga, Pampanga, Metro Manila, and Baguio City

Multi-billion SEA Games 2019 fund follows Cayetano where he goes

Nov 29, 2019 - 10:35 PM

The money trail shows SEA Games organizing committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano has control over the budget regardless of which agency the money is lodged under

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the organizing committee of the 30th SEA Games, delivers his speech before foreign dignitaries, sponsors, and Filipino athletes during their site visit on October 16, 2019 at New Clark City. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Hong Kong gov't drops case vs OFW arrested near protest site

Nov 27, 2019 - 7:53 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says the Hong Kong government dropped its case of unlawful assembly against a Filipino national who was arrested by police after passing a protest site in August

UNREST. Hong Kong has been gripped by continuing protests now in its 5th month. File photo by Isaac Lawrence/AFP

Online rescheduling of passport appointments 'temporarily unavailable'

Nov 27, 2019 - 2:19 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says this is due to an upgrade in their online appointment system

China control of NGCP 'cause for concern' – Carpio

Nov 26, 2019 - 5:23 PM

Retired Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio warns this is especially the case if the Chinese themselves handle the maintenance of the Philippines' power supply

CONCERN. Retired Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio says the Philippine government should look into China's stake in the NGCP. Rappler Screenshot

DFA: No need to evacuate Filipinos in Hong kong 'at this time'

Nov 16, 2019 - 12:35 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs assures the public that Filipinos 'remain safe and largely unaffected' by the Hong Kong protests

5 MONTHS AND COUNTING. Protesters stand in front of a burning barricade at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in Hong Kong early on November 13, 2019. Photo by Anthony Wallace / AFP

DFA opens new consular office in Cavite

Nov 04, 2019 - 5:40 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs' new consular office is located in SM City Dasmariñas and is open 10 am to 5 pm, from Mondays to Saturdays

NEW CONSULAR OFFICE. Foreign Undersecretary Brigido Dulay leads the inauguration of the new Department of Foreign Affairs Consular office at SM City Dasmarinas in Cavite on November 4, 2019. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

DFA warns Filipinos against using fake Korea visa services

Nov 04, 2019 - 2:10 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs also asks the public not to share social media posts advertising the fake visa schemes

DFA verifying Chinese ship harassment of Filipino-crewed ship in West PH Sea

Nov 02, 2019 - 2:12 PM

'We will verify the facts of the incident then relevant offices will make the appropriate recommendations,' says the Department of Foreign Affairs

Ship captain Manolo Ebora speaks to the crew of a "Chinese warship" on the radio as his crew of fellow Filipinos steer the international oil tanker Green Aura past Scarborough Shoal on September 30, 2019. Photo courtesy of Captain Manolo Ebora

DFA closed on November 2019 holidays

Oct 31, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Individuals unable to avail of scheduled appointments for consular services from 12 noon onwards on October 31 will be accommodated on any working day until November 29

DFA: Renew passports 1 year before expiration

Oct 31, 2019 - 6:53 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs announces extensions for the validity of e-Passports will no longer be allowed, in compliance with standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization

RENEWAL. The DFA urges passport holders to renew their passports 1 year before it expires. Photo from Shutterstock

Ramos-Shahani resigns as UNESCO Philippines secretary-general

Oct 23, 2019 - 10:23 AM

Lila Ramos-Shahani will also no longer serve as Department of Foreign Affairs assistant secretary

Photos of Lila Ramos-Shahani, UNESCO site from UNESCO Philippines website

One more mission for DFA’s Generoso Calonge

Oct 22, 2019 - 5:20 PM

With a career that spans over 3 decades in the foreign service, DFA Assistant Secretary Generoso Calonge now leads the Maritime and Ocean Affairs office as a quiet guard of Philippine waters

CAREER DIPLOMAT. Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Generoso Calonge latest post sees him leading the DFA's Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office. Photo by Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler

DFA to Filipinos in Lebanon: Stay away from protests

Oct 19, 2019 - 10:23 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs also urges Filipinos to contact the Philippine Embassy in Beirut hotline at (+961-3) 859-430 for any assistance

PROTESTS. A Lebanese activist sweeps soot on a main road in downtown Beirut on October 19, 2019 as hundreds continued to gather in Lebanon for a third day of protests against tax increases and alleged official corruption after the security forces made dozens of arrests. Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP

DFA says Samantha Lo has no record in PH passport database

Oct 18, 2019 - 7:29 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it received reports that the beauty queen 'was unable to continue her journey to Caracas due to alleged issues with her passport'

Locsin wants DreamWorks boycott over 'Abominable' movie

Oct 16, 2019 - 8:36 AM

'Call a universal boycott...from here on,' Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says after the animated DreamWorks film showcased a map depicting China's 9-dash line in the South China Sea

BOYCOTT. Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr expresses his opposition against a DreamWorks animated film which depicted China's 9-dash line. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

DFA urges Filipinos going to Saudi Arabia: Follow rules on public decency

Oct 09, 2019 - 5:30 PM

Saudi Arabia's new regulations on public decency involve 19 offenses which are punishable by fines

NEW RULES. Saudi Arabia imposes new rules on public decency, with violations punishable by fines. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

PH bans deployment to South Sudan

Oct 07, 2019 - 5:41 PM

This follows the raising of Alert Level 4 by the Department of Foreign Affairs, which means 'evacuation/mandatory repatriation' of Filipinos

Chinese vessels in Philippine waters: Who’s keeping score?

Oct 02, 2019 - 11:48 PM

As Chinese vessels of all sorts come and go through Philippine waters, exactly who among security officials is keeping count, and who's telling whom what to do?

BRP SIERRA MADRE. This aerial photo taken from a military aircraft shows the Sierra Madre ship of the Philippine Navy anchored near Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) with Philippine soldiers onboard to secure the perimeter in the Spratly Islands, on May 11, 2015. File photo by Ritchie Tongo/AFP

Philippines files diplomatic protest vs China over ships near Ayungin shoal

Oct 02, 2019 - 1:34 AM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr makes the statement after Armed Forces of the Philippine Chief of Staff Noel Clement told senators of the Chinese ships' presence near Ayungin Shoal

DIPLOMATIC PROTEST. Foreign Secretary Teodoro 'Teddyboy' Locsin Jr order a diplomatic protest to be filed against China over Chinese vessels near Ayungin Shoal. Malacañang photo

Locsin: U.N. ‘not free to interfere’ when a country goes tough vs crime

Sep 29, 2019 - 12:13 PM

'The nations here in United [Nations] should not let this platform be used to threaten others with accountability for taking a tough approach to crime,' says DFA Secretary Teddyboy Locsin, Jr

'NOT FREE TO INTERFERE.' Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, 2019. Screenshot from UN Web TV

U.N. report on attacks vs PH rights groups is 'shoddy work' – Locsin

Sep 23, 2019 - 9:27 PM

'The UNHRC report reads like it was written by the accusers...Ignore it,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

THREATS. Human rights defenders urge the Philippine government to stop persecuting human rights activists. File photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

7 Filipinos safe from Maldives buildings fire – DFA

Sep 22, 2019 - 2:18 PM

The Philippine Embassy in Bangladesh is 'closely monitoring' the aftermath of the blaze in Malè City, Maldives

DFA requests additional funds to issue, upgrade more passports

Sep 12, 2019 - 10:05 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says only P647 million of the P5.61 billion it requested was approved by the Department of Budget and Management