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Department of Foreign Affairs-13Oct2009-updates

Quezonian Foundation, Inc. and Pagbilawin Foundation, Inc. Donate to Typhoon Ondoy Victims

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 02:15 AM PDT

PH-180-09, 13 October 2009 – The officers of the Quezonian Foundation, Inc. (QFI), led by its chairman Mr. Efren Catalla, and Pagbilawin Foundation, Inc., (PFI), led by its president Mr. Manolito Batocabe, visited the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago on October 7 to donate two checks for victims of typhoon Ondoy.

The QFI and the Quezon Association of the Midwest (QAM) donated the amount of US$1,000 while PFI donated US$2,000 for a total donation of US$3,000. Both checks were made payable to the Philippine National Red Cross.

The groups joined forces to raise funds and expressed their concern for the plight of fellow Filipinos in the wake of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, which hit the Philippines. The consulate thanked QFI/QAM and PFI for their generous donations and provided them with the latest information on the typhoons from the National Disaster Coordinating Council. END



DFA Warns Public Anew on Variation of the Internet-Based 419 Scam

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 02:14 AM PDT

PR-854-09, 13 October 2009 – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reiterates its warning to the public on internet-based “419 Scam” following reports that individuals allegedly from Nigeria were able to hack the email of a Manila-based national and solicited money.

The latest incident is another variation of the scam which involves the hacking of the victim’s email account and using it to solicit money from unsuspecting friends and relatives. The victim’s relatives and friends received emails purportedly from the victim claiming he/she was robbed while in Nigeria, and asking them to remit US$2,500 in order for the victim to return to Manila.

There have been previous advisories on the 419 Scam whose money-making scheme is internet-based. The Nigeria-based syndicates’ modus operandi usually involves sending emails to unsuspecting victims promising employment in Nigeria, bank loans, lottery winnings or double-your-money schemes using Filipino names to victimize OFWs and other job applicants in the Philippines. The syndicate requires the recipient to remit money to a particular bank account in Nigeria, supposedly as payment for application fees, taxes, and other processing fees.

The Philippine Embassy in Abuja strongly believes that this latest case is a typical 419 Scam that usually finds its victims through the internet.

The public is advised not to send any money or divulge personal information, particularly bank accounts or credit card number if they receive similar emails. END



SNAMMM-NOC Co-Sponsors with the Department of Education an Essay Writing Competition on Interfaith Dialogue

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 01:37 AM PDT

PR-853-09, 13 October 2009 – The National Organizing Committee (NOC) of the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development (SNAMMM) and the Department of Education (DepEd) will conduct an essay writing contest on interfaith dialogue to heighten public awareness, especially among students, of the Philippines’ advocacy for peace and the promotion of an open dialogue among various faiths and religions.

The theme of the essay writing competition is “Interfaith Initiatives: What It Means to Me and to My Country.”

Interfaith initiatives have been a cornerstone of Philippine policy. This will mark the first time that the NAM will harness the great potentials of interfaith dialogue and cooperation to advance the cause for a durable and lasting peace and sustainable development not only in the Philippines and around the world.

The nationwide essay writing contest will be open to any high school students enrolled in any public and private secondary schools recognized by DepEd for the school year 2009-2010.

Winners will be awarded trophies, certificates and cash prizes. First prize will receive PhP20,000; second prize will receive PhP15,000; the third prize will receive PhP10,000; and seven consolation prizes of PhP2,000 each.

The winners shall be notified via mail/e-mail and shall be presented with an award during the course of the ministerial meeting on 1-3 December 2009.

Please call or email the DepEd Special Events Unit located at Room 505 Bonifacio Building, DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City at tel nos. (02) 637-5832 and (02) 637-5834, and email address for further information. END



Filipinos in Lebanon send Donation to PNRC for Typhoon Victims

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 01:33 AM PDT

PR-852-09, 13 October 2009 – The Filipino community in Lebanon remitted to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) the sum of US$1,604 as donation to help the victims of typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng.”

The amount was raised during the second collection at two Sunday masses on 4 and 11 October in the St. Elie Parish Church in Antelias, St. Joseph Parish Church in Tabaris, St. George Church in Sarba, St. Rita Church in Kfarhabab, St. Lourdes Church in Baabda and by the Filipino Association of Baclaran, Ajaltoun.

During the Sunday mass at the St. Elie Church, Rev. Fr. Theo Vlugt, SJ, (left photo, 3rd from left, top row) of the Afro-Asian Migrant Center led the prayers for the victims of the typhoons and encouraged the Filipino parishioners to give to the second collection. Dante and Beth Tagudin, FilCom leaders, (Beth Tagudin at right end of both photos) arranged the second collection, the gathering of the donations from the various churches and the remittance of US$1,604 to the Metro Bank account of the Philippine National Red Cross.

Iremit waived the remittance fee for the donation. The donation was witnessed by Mrs. Nila Robillos, OIC-POLO/OWWA, (right photo, 3rd from right) and Mrs. Priscilla Flores, Welfare Officer.

The Filipino parishioners in the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Hamra, Beirut are also arranging second collection in the four Sunday masses in October and material donations for the victims of the two typhoons. The El Shaddai, Lebanon Chapter and the Filipino church servers are organizing the donations, which they will remit to their chosen charitable organizations. Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon Gilberto Asuque thanked the Filipino parishioners of the St. Francis of Assisi Church during the mass on October 11 for their donations. (POLO/OWWA photos) END



Congressman Rufus Rodriguez visits Cuba to Boost RP-Cuban ties

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 01:23 AM PDT

PR-851-09, 13 October 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Havana reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Congressman Rufus B. Rodriguez of the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro City successfully completed a five-day visit to Cuba recently, which Philippine Ambassador to Cuba MacArthur F. Corsino described as having greatly helped the Embassy boost RP-Cuban ties.

A member of the RP-Cuba Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Philippine Congress, Rodriguez met with Deputies (parliament members) of the Cuban National Assembly of the People’s Power: Yenielys Reguieferos of the Commission (committee) on Foreign Relations; Doralis C. Hernandez, Education, Culture, Science and Technology; and Dr. Rebeca Sonia Gonzalez Fernandez, Health and Sports. He also met with Omar Torres Olivares, a functionary of the National Assembly.

Rodriguez has sponsored a Filipino scholar from his constituency, Junre Salvan, who begins his studies in Cuba this year, in hydraulic engineering. He also expressed interest in sending two scholars next year, in medicine and hydraulic engineering.

Accompanied by Ambassador Corsino, Rodriguez toured some important symbols of Cuban nationalism: the monument and museum to the Cuban national hero Jose Marti; the Museum of the Cuban Revolution which features relics of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary struggle against the Fulgencio Batista regime during 1956-59; the monument and tomb of Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Santa Clara where “Che” commanded the Cuban columns that won the final, decisive battle that forced Batista to flee the country; the beach and museum of Playa Giron, or the Bay of Pigs in Matanzas, where the Cuban armed forces defeated an invasion attempt of CIA-trained counter-revolutionaries in 1961; and the Fort Cabana office and residence where Che Guevara worked and lived in for six months after the expulsion of Batista.

Rodriguez and the Ambassador were welcomed by top Cuban officials administering these sites including Ernesto Calero, president of the Varadero municipal government, and Mrs. Diosenis Machado, president of the government and Deputy of the National Assembly, from Cienaga de Zapata (region of Playa Giron).

Congressman Rodriguez, with the Embassy staff, also laid a wreath at the monument to Dr. Jose Rizal, at the Plaza de Fraternidad in Havana. He and his wife Fenina O. T. Rodriguez were accompanied by the ambassador and Mrs. Bernadette Corsino in most of the places they visited, including in Santa Clara and Matanzas and places which the late Nobel-prize-winning American novelist Ernest Hemingway stayed in or frequented in Havana. END



Awarding of Plaques of Appreciation for the Success of the Asia Pacific Women’s Group Moscow Charity Bazaar 2009

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 01:10 AM PDT

PH-179-09, 13 October 2009 – The Asia Pacific Women’s Group headed by Madame Concepcion Garcia, spouse of Philippine Ambassador to Russia Victor G. Garcia III, awarded plaques of appreciation to the sponsors and patrons who contributed to the success of the Asia Pacific Charity Bazaar 2009. The awarding was followed by a reception held last October 9 at the Embassy of Singapore. END



Swiss People Take Direct Action to Assist Typhoon Victims, Other Disasters in the Region

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 06:52 PM PDT

PR-850-09, 13 October 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Berne reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Swiss people directly donated Swiss Francs 5,054,451 during the ”Donation Day” of the Swiss Solidarity Foundation held on October 9 for the typhoon victims in the Philippines, earthquake victims in Indonesia, and flood victims in India.

In fact, 1.2 million Swiss Francs were received in advance of the collection day. Donations have reached Swiss Francs 6,254,451 and may still go higher.

The Swiss Solidarity Foundation is the humanitarian arm of Swiss Radio and Television and the private print media. It works with 30 partner organizations to provide emergency relief in disaster areas. Some of their partner organizations are Caritas, Medicins Sans Frontieres, Swiss Red Cross, Handicap International among others.

The Swiss Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC) based in Zurich coordinated directly with the Swiss Solidarity Foundation to assist the Philippines. SACC is composed of entities doing business in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.

The Swiss Solidarity Foundation acknowledged that the biggest contribution during its Donation Day came from the SACC Taskforce Asia amounting to Swiss Francs 100,000.

The SACC Taskforce Asia ( was established by Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Ma. Theresa Lazaro and Martin Kurer, SACC’s Philippine Chapter Chairman, in close cooperation with the Indonesian Ambassador in Switzerland and in coordination with the Philippine Swiss Business Council based in Manila, represented by Mr. Reiner Gloor.

The objective of the Taskforce is to raise funds for the victims of the typhoons in the Philippines and earthquakes in Indonesia.

The Philippine Embassy also conveyed the gratitude of Defense Secretary and National Disaster Coordinating Council Chairman Gilbert Teodoro to the Swiss people. Secretary Teodoro said, “The typhoons Ketsana and Parma have created a natural disaster of unprecedented extent. The Philippine Government is doing its best to support our people with food, clean water, medicines and other items needed for survival. Reconstruction will be equally challenging. I have been informed about the efforts of the Swiss people and the Swiss Government’s assistance and I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude. I wish to specifically mention the efforts of Swiss Solidarity, Glueckskette and Radio DRS. Thank you.” END



Filipinos in New South Wales Raise Donations, Relief Goods for Flood Victims

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 06:34 PM PDT

PR-849-09, 13 October 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in Sydney reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Filipinos in New South Wales, Australia rallied to help the families affected by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, sending food and funds for the relief of distressed communities.

Families gave grocery products and clothes while senior citizens donated their pensions. Young professionals and university students approached groceries for donations of canned goods and pharmacies for medicines. Many Filipino-Australian organizations undertook fund appeals, to assist the civic relief groups sheltering and assisting flood victims.

A Filipino language radio program made a two-day radiothon and raised A$11,000 (P462,000) in pledges. In a demonstration of unity, organizations shed their names and made their donations in the name of the Filipino Community of New South Wales.

A Filipino-Australian businesswoman in Granville volunteered her business location as a drop-off point for goods, and almost immediately, families from all over the Greater Sydney area came with loads of relief goods.

By October 6, three metric tonnes (3,000 kilos) of collected food donations were sent by air to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Gawad Kalinga, and other civic organizations providing front-line relief services in the calamity areas. A second shipment of relief goods, which is targeting six tonnes (6,000 kilos) of assorted relief goods, is being assembled for immediate shipment.

Filipino-Australians in Blacktown City, where there are 21,000 Filipino immigrants, are organizing a concert to raise more funds for the flood victims. Majority of Filipino-Australians in New South Wales are spread throughout the state and coursed their donations directly to Philippine relief agencies, the PNRC, and church and civic organizations in calamity areas.

To help the Filipino community’s relief donation drives, remittance centers waived service charges and certain cargo forwarder companies accommodated the shipment of relief goods.

“The Filipino-Australians in New South Wales usually mobilize relief assistance whenever a calamity hits the Philippines, but Typhoon Ondoy’s flooding of the country’s capital caused the suffering of an unprecedented number of calamity victims, which made the need for relief assistance more urgent,” Acting Head of Post J. Anthony Reyes of the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney said.

With the new round of floods and landslides brought by Typhoon Pepeng to northern Luzon, the Filipino Community in New South Wales is extending their relief assistance drive.. END



RP Embassy in London and Filcom Ship Donations to Help “Ondoy” Victims

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 06:08 PM PDT

PR-848-09, 13 October 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in London and members of the Filipino-UK Community have begun shipping collected donations to the Philippines for those affected by Tropical Storm “Ondoy” (Ketsana).

The Embassy has been serving as a collection point for relief goods donated from within the UK since the storm hit the Philippines. Other individuals and organizations also volunteered their offices and residences as donation drop-off areas.

A total of 24 large boxes packed with donated items were collected from the Embassy’s premises on October 8. Even as these boxes were being loaded, more relief goods arrived from the Holiday Inn Hotel in London, which were received by Embassy officials led by Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo.

Subsequent collections from the Embassy are scheduled for the 15th and 20th of October. All goods will be placed in a container van donated by Wentworth International Movers for shipment to the Department of Social Works and Development (DSWD) in Manila.

From the first briefing on “Ondoy” for the Filipino community last September 28, the Embassy has been utilizing the tremendous support of concerned groups and individuals who have generously contributed their time and resources towards helping those most in need.

Banking and financial companies such as Allied Bank, I-Remit, PNB, Metro Remit, LCC Trans-Sending and CBN Grupo informed the Embassy that they were waiving remittance charges for donations to several relief agencies. Many students came forward to volunteer their services and help in collecting and packing donated items. Philippine media organizations in the UK disseminated information on relief efforts. Filipino communities and organizations all around the UK raised funds and collected needed supplies.

On October 1, individuals and groups met at the Philippine Consulate to further coordinate their volunteer work and identify more ways to help. A special mass was held on October 7, while several benefit events were planned, including a charity drive on October 11 organized by Aguman Kapangpangan-UK, Batangas Association UK, and the Philippine Association of Royal Mail Employees.

Plans for a benefit concert featuring artists like Mutya Buena (formerly of Sugababes) and other artists with links to the Philippines are underway.

The Embassy has been regularly issuing advisories through e-mails and its website ( to help centralize information on ways to help those affected by the tropical storm. It continues to encourage those who wish to contribute to the relief efforts to send their donations directly to the National Disaster Coordinating Council, the Philippine National Red Cross, and the DSWD. END



First Batch of Philippine Peacekeepers Arrive in Golan Heights

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 05:54 PM PDT

PR-847-09, 13 October 2009 – Filipino troops hit the ground running as they assumed their peacekeeping duties with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights immediately upon their arrival in Syria on Sunday, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York said today.

In its report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Mission said 161 troops comprising the first batch of the 1st Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent to the Golan Heights under Army Lt. Col. Milfredo Melegrito arrived in Damascus on Sunday afternoon and immediately assumed their positions.

The Philippine Mission said the peacekeepers—made up of 28 officers and 133 enlisted men—left the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga on board a United Nations-chartered aircraft past midnight Sunday. A second batch of 161 officers and enlisted personnel will complete the deployment when they arrive in Syria on November 1.

The Philippine Mission was informed that upon their arrival, the Filipino peacekeepers established their headquarters at Camp Ziouani and took over positions that have been turned over by their Polish counterparts. They were joined by the 14-man advance party that was deployed to the area two weeks ago to prepare for their arrival.

The Filipino troops are expected to immediately start patrolling and monitoring the southern portion of the so-called Area of Separation—a hilly 80-kilometer stretch in the Golan Heights that has been under UN supervision since the end of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

The Philippine Contingent will form part of the 1,023-strong UNDOF peacekeeping force that also includes troops from Austria, Canada, Croatia, India and Japan who have been tasked by the Security Council to maintain the ceasefire and supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces and the so-called Areas of Separation and Limitation between the two parties.

According to the Philippine Mission, Manila committed to send a total of 336 peacekeepers after it was requested by the United Nations to support UNDOF following the decision of Poland to end its peacekeeping presence in the Golan Heights where it has been serving since 1994.

Poland is expected to formally turnover command to the Philippines in ceremonies scheduled at Camp Ziouani on 22 October. It will retain a presence in the area until after the Philippines completes its deployment next month.

The Philippine presence in the Golan Heights is Manila’s biggest overseas deployment since it supported UN operations in East Timor in 2000 and is also considered the most challenging of all the UN peacekeeping missions the Philippines is participating in.

This deployment is expected to boost Philippine contributions to UN peacekeeping operations. In addition to the battalion-size unit it deployed to the Golan Heights, the Philippines also has contributed company-size units in Haiti and Liberia as well as military observers and staff officers in Cote d’ Ivoire, Kashmir, Sudan and Timor-Leste. END



Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Philippines Could Elect Youngest President in Country’s History

Philippines Could Elect Youngest President in Country’s History

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Philippine Senator Francis (Chiz) Escudero, who turned 40 last October , announced his plans to seek the presidency. If he wins, the senator will be the youngest president in the history of Philippine politics.
The Philippine constitution prohibits any of its citizens from becoming president of the country unless he reaches the age of 40 on election day. Next year Filipinos will elect a new president, vice-president, 24 senators, more than 200 congressmen together with local government officials, from governors to councilors of towns and cities all over the country.
The Philippines will have its first electronic or computerized vote counting in its election history next year. Close to P10 billion has been set aside by the government to acquire vote counting machines including equipment and software to ensure that next year’s election is credible, honest and orderly.
One of the possible presidential candidates who has declared his intention to seek the presidency is incumbent senator Francis (Chiz) Escudero, a former congressman from Bicol region in southern Philippines. Senator Escudero is one of the topnotchers in the last senatorial elections. If he is elected, he will become the nation’s youngest president in the country’s political history.
The young senator has an impressive credentials. He was born on October 10, 1969 in Manila. His father is a former Philippine secretary of agriculture and a congressman from Sorsogon. Escudero is married to Christine Flores, a singer and actress. The have two fraternal twins.
Escudero attended the University of the Philippines Integrated School for both his Elementary and Secondary Education, and graduated in 1981 and 1985 respectively. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City in 1988 and Bachelors of Laws at the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1993. He received his Masters in International and Comparative Law at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D. C. in 1996.
At the University of the Philippines , Escudero was Secretary General of the Association of Law Students of the Philippines from 1992–1993. He also joined the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity and was a member of the Alpha Phi Beta Debating Team which was the 1991 U.P. Open Debate Champion. A consistent honor student, he was a member of the Order of the Purple Feather or the U.P. Law Honor Society from 1989–1993.
Escudero is very popular among the young voters for his youthful disposition and looks. Aside from his admirable credentials, the senator is also very popular with the masses for espousing “pro poor programs” and for consistently criticizing government for its inability to minimize corruption in government institutions. Among Escudero’s possible opponents include former house speaker and Senate President Manny Villar, Derfense Secretary and former congressman Gilbert Teodoro, former congressman and current senator Noynoy Aquino, former president Joseph Estrada, former Olongapo Mayor and senator Richard Gordon and Evangelist Bro.Eddie Viilanueva.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates,

13th OK Bikol opens October 22 at SM Megamall

By: AC Belleza

Philippine Information Agency

Bicol’s best products featured

Legazpi City (13 October) — The 13th Orgullo kan Bikol regional trade fair will showcase anew Bicol’s best products on October 22-25 at the SM Mega Mall in Mandaluyong City.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) Bicol regional offices will also bring “Gayon Bikol sa OK Bikol” featuring the best tourist destinations in the region, giving the event an appealing socio-cultural touch.

“Featured products for this year’s Orgullo kan Bikol include wearables, home furnishings, gifts and holiday decors, and food with special setting on “bayong”, creative handicrafts, and OTOP”, Jocelyn L.B. Blanco, DTI Bicol regional director said.

Blanco said amidst the many challenges that we are facing right now, we are still confident to generate sales of P10 million for the four-day trade fair.

A total of 134 Bicolano entrepreneurs will be selling their products to institutional buyers and the general public as well.

Among the six provinces Albay has the biggest number of exhibitors with 33 MSMEs, followed by Camarines Sur with 24, Sorsogon with 14, Catanduanes 9, Camarines Norte 6, and Masbate 5.

Aside from the regular MSMEs assisted by DTI, 43 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) beneficiaries/entrepreneurs will be joining OKB. All these beneficiaries are assisted by DTI through the livelihood program under CARP.

Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, also the Bicol Regional Development Council chair, is expected to keynote the opening program at 10:00 a.m. on October 22, 1009 at SM Mega Mall.

OK Bikol is a project of the DTI-Region V, Department of Tourism (DOT)-Region V, OK Bikol Association, PhilExport Bicol and local government units (LGUs). (DTI/PIA)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon-shellfish samples tested positive for red tide toxins too

Murciellagos Bay found positive for red tide toxin
Philippine Information Agency
Sorosogon Bay and Juag Lagoon in Matnog, Sorsogon; Bislig Bay in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; and Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City, Leyte.


Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Kauai Filcom Raises Fund for Typhoon Ondoy Flood Victims -Department of Foreign Affairs

On the Appointment of Undersecretary Esteban B. Conejos, Jr. as Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 01:27 AM PDT

The present Administration has appointed more career Heads of Posts, i.e., Ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary and Consuls General (72.83 percent) than during the Estrada administration (70 percent) and Ramos administration (67 percent).

The appointment of Undersecretary Esteban B. Conejos, Jr. as Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva is valid as it is also within the limit set by law.

Section 17 of RA 7157 (The Foreign Service Act) sets out the ratio of career and non-career Ambassadors, thus:

In order to strengthen the Career Foreign Service Corps and to enable it to respond to the challenges in the field of international relations, the President shall be guided, as much as possible, by the principle that a majority of diplomatic and permanent missions shall be headed by career ambassadors.

As the law clearly indicates, it suffices that the majority of the diplomatic and permanent mission (50 percent+1) are headed by career ambassadors.

In this administration, the record is clear that there has been strict and ample compliance with the provision of the law.

Therefore, under the present circumstances the law is far from being breached by the appointment of a non-career ambassador.



19 Examinees Pass the 2008 FSO Examination

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 12:45 AM PDT

The Department of Foreign Affairs announced that nineteen (19) out of 899 examinees passed the 2008 Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Examination.

Twenty-nine year old Luningning G. Camoying, from Tolosa, Leyte, topped the 2008 FSO Exam with a composite rating of 85.43%. Ms. Camoying is a researcher at the Foreign Service Institute, and has the following degrees: BA Communication Arts from UP Visayas, MA International Studies from UP Diliman, and MS Affaires Internationales from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.

The other successful examinees are as follows:

(1) Sharon Johnnette M. Agduma

(2) Kristine F. Bautista

(3) Jan Kenneth E. Bolante

(4) Leilanie Bernadette C. Cabras

(5) Khrystina P. Corpuz

(6) Nicole Therese A. De Castro

(7) Andre Peter C. Estanislao

(8) Cecille Joyce Y. Lao

(9) Andrea B. Leycano

(10) Monika Kamille B. Limpo

(11) Francis Maynard S. Maleon

(12) Shirley O. Nuevo

(13) Glenn Joseph Q. Obach

(14) Rowena R. Pangilinan

(15) Robert D. Quintin

(16) Ira Micheline R. Valdez

(17) Jefrrey A. Valdez

(18) Jan Sherwin P. Wenceslao

Seven of the successful examinees graduated from UP Diliman, five from the Ateneo de Manila University, two from the University of San Carlos, and one each from Divine Word College (Capalan,Oriental Mindoro), Middlebury College (Virginia, USA), UP Baguio, UP Los Baños, and UP Visayas.

The 2008 FSO Exam consisted of four parts: (1) the Qualifying Test held on 04 May 2008 in various testing centers throughout the country and in Dubai, Vienna, and Washington D.C.; (2) the Written Test held from 29 November to 01 December 2008 in Pasay City and Cebu City; (3) the Oral Test held from 27 to 29 May 2009 in Pasay City; and (4) the Psychological Test held from 25 June to 08 July 2009 in Quezon City.

The names of the successful examinees shall be forwarded to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for possible appointment as Foreign Service Officer, Class IV. END



DFA closely coordinating with Irish Government on Kidnapped Columban Missionary

Posted: 12 Oct 2009 12:26 AM PDT

PR-843-09, 12 October 2009 – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expresses grave concern over the kidnapping of Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott, a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Pagadian City, last night.

The Department has been in touch with the Irish Government, through the Philippine Embassy in Dublin and the Irish Embassy in Singapore. It is also working with various government agencies, as well as the Missionary Society of St. Columban, to exhaust all means to ensure the early and safe release of Fr. Sinnott..

Fr. Sinnott is a long-time missionary in the Philippines who has served children with special needs.

The DFA joins the friends of Fr. Sinnott and other sectors of society in appealing to the abductors for his safe and immediate release given his advance age and health condition. END



Filcom in Andorra offers donations for typhoon Ondoy Victims

Posted: 11 Oct 2009 11:20 PM PDT

PH-178-09, 12 October 2009 – Consul General Eduardo Jose A. de Vega of the Philippine Consulate General in Barcelona accepted boxes of food donations from Mr. Carlos Canlas, President of the Filipino Community in Andorra (FILAND), who came to the Consulate on October 7 to personally hand over the donations collected from the Filipino community in Andorra to the Philippine Consulate.

Andorra, a small principality situated in the Pyrenees mountain range between Spain and France, hosts around 800 Filipinos. Mr. Carlas conveyed the community’s strong sense of sympathy and solidarity with the Filipinos back home whose lives have been severely affected by the typhoon.

In expressing the country’s appreciation for their generous contribution, Consul General de Vega acknowledged that overseas Filipinos situated everywhere, from the smallest to the largest countries abroad, have once again demonstrated the generosity and nobility of spirit of the Filipino.

Photo shows Vice Consul Arman R. Talbo (extreme left) and Mrs. Canlas (extreme right) during the handing over of the donations. END



Kauai Filcom Raises Fund for Typhoon Ondoy Flood Victims

Posted: 11 Oct 2009 10:40 PM PDT

PR-842-09, 12 October 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Kauai Filipino Community raised US$9,188.00 for the flood victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

The Kauai Filipino community will continue its fund raising campaign until October 24 and all funds collected will be submitted to the Filipino Community Center.

Mr. Bernard P. Carvalho,Jr., Mayor of the County of Hawaii, issued a proclamation on Philippine Flood Relief on October 1 declaring October 2-12 as “Emergency Fund Drive Week” and requested “the people of Kauai to join in the efforts to provide emergency relief to victims of the flooding in the Philippines.”

Consul General Leoncio R. Cardenas extended his deepest gratitude and appreciation to all the people of Kauai for their kindhearted charity and to the leaders of the Filipino community in Kauai for their voluntary efforts and generosity to organize the fundraising campaign. He also extended his sincerest gratitude to Mayor Carvalho for supporting the Filipino Community’s fundraising drive in Kauai.

In the photo are Liza Trinidad, President of the United Filipino Community Council (Kauai); Ernie Pasion, President of the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce; Sonia Topenio, Immediate Past President and Chair of Inter Organization Relations for the Kauai Chamber of Commerce; and Oscar Portugal, Past President of the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce. END



Filcom in Northern Italy donates €2,700 to Victims of Typhoon Ondoy

Posted: 11 Oct 2009 10:00 PM PDT

PR-841-09, 12 October 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in Milan reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Filipino Community in Northern Italy donated €2,700 (approximately PhP184,736.59) to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

On October 6, Acting Head of Post and Vice-Consul Mary Luck S. Hicarte turned over the donation to Mr.. Rodel Dimatulac, Branch Head of Metrobank-Milan, for deposit to the account of the Philippine National Red Cross.

During a meeting held at the Consulate last October 3, leaders of Filipino community organizations unanimously agreed to donate to the Philippine National Red Cross part of the excess funds of the 2009 Independence Day celebrations.

The meeting served to pool information and to facilitate coordination on the many relief efforts being undertaken by the community organizations, including two benefit concerts featuring Filipino and Italian artists.

For its part, the Consulate reported the receptiveness of remittance centers and cargo forwarding companies to its request for the waiving of remittance and shipment charges for donations. The Consulate also reported the opening of a donation box within its premises and its acceptance of relief goods for shipment to Manila. END



Prime Minister Najib Extends Condolences to President Arroyo for the Victims of Typhoon Ondoy

Posted: 11 Oct 2009 09:47 PM PDT

PR-840-09, 12 October 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak sent a condolence message to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo following the major natural disaster wrought by the tropical storm Ondoy (Ketsana).

In his letter to President Arroyo, Prime Minister Najib said that he was profoundly saddened by the tragic loss due to the massive flood caused by Typhoon Ondoy which severely affected Metro Manila and its surrounding areas.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Malaysia, I extend my deepest sympathy to the government and the people of the Republic of the Philippines especially to the bereaved families who had lost their loved ones during the tragic calamity. At this difficult time, I share with you my prayers and thoughts for the well-being and safety of all Filipinos,” the Prime Minister said.

In a related development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia activated a disaster fund to help victims of the earthquake in Padang, Sumatra (Indonesia), and Ondoy in the Philippines and Vietnam. In its website, MFA called on Malaysians to send their monetary donations to “Tabung Bencana Kementerian Luar Negeri” (MFA Disaster Fund).

On 30 September 2009, MERCY Malaysia deployed a two-member team to Manila to distribute hygiene kits to affected communities in addition to conducting assessments to learn more of the situation and what humanitarian assistance are needed.

The distribution of hygiene kits was part of MERCY Malaysia’s primary work of providing WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities to victims of natural disasters. A total of RM100,000 (approximately US$30,000) has been allocated from its emergency fund to respond to this recent disaster. END



Hawaii Rep. Manahan and UH and HPU students to collect Donations for ‘Ondoy” flood victims

Posted: 11 Oct 2009 09:17 PM PDT

PR-840-09, 12 October 2009 – Philippine Consul General in Honolulu Leoncio R. Cardenas offered support to the initiative of Rep. Joey Manahan (District 29) to collect donations for the flood victims in Manila and surrounding areas.

At a press conference held on October 6 at the State Capitol, Rep. Manahan was joined by student leaders Richard Tabalno, President of Katipunan at University of Hawaii; and Niccolo Gruta, President of Kababayan at Hawaii Pacific University.

Timpuyog, a student organization at UH will also take part in the donation drive. Katipunan will start receiving donations in kind, canned goods, usable clothing and other supplies starting October 13 until November, at the UH Student Center. Kababayan will also start its own donation drive.

The Philippine Consulate General has offered to be a drop-off point for donations in kind. Rep. Manahan announced that LBC Foundation will help ship goods to Manila as the latter’s donation for the cause. Also Hawaiian Airlines and the US Pacific Command have made similar offer to fly to Manila all collected donations.

Consul General Cardenas extended the the Philippine government’s gratitude to the Filipino Community and the people of Hawaii for their overwhelming support to raise funds for the flood victims. He also thanked the student leaders for their spirit of volunteerism and their passion to help the flood victims.

On September 26, typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) brought the worst flood in 40 years, with 300 estimated casualties of the more than 2 million Filipinos that have been affected. It was followed by typhoon Pepeng (Parma) which pelted parts of northern Luzon with powerful winds. END



Israel to Assist in Typhoon Ondoy Relief Efforts

Posted: 11 Oct 2009 09:06 PM PDT

PR-839-09, 12 October 2009 – The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAID) is sending a team to the Philippines to assist in relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, The Philippine Embassy in Tel-Aviv said it was informed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that the team, scheduled to leave for the Philippines on October 10, will be composed of a doctor, a nurse, and three paramedics. The group will stay in the Philippines for two weeks, after which another team from Israel will take their place.

IsraAID is a coordinating body of Israeli and Jewish NGOs based in Israel that are active in developmental and relief work. It aims to provide humanitarian aid worldwide for people who are in need, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, nationality or disabilities.

Its team in the Philippines will be working in close coordination with the Philippine National Red Cross. END



Ambassador Gaa: “In Fighting Terrorism, It is in our Best Interests to Work Together”

Posted: 11 Oct 2009 08:52 PM PDT

PR-838-09, 12 October 2009 – Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa delivered a presentation highlighting the important lessons learned by the Philippine Government in its decades-long struggles against both communist and Islamist insurgencies.

Ambassador Gaa made the presentation at the Ambassadors Roundtable Series on International Collaboration to Combat Terrorism and Insurgency hosted by the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) at George Washington University on October 6.

Before a group composed of members of the academe, U.S. government officials, representatives from think tanks and policy organizations, Ambassador Gaa emphasized the need and value of regional and international cooperation in addressing the current threat of global terrorism.

With reference to the current threat posed by terrorism, Ambassador Gaa said, “The advent of globalization and the spread of extremist ideology and beliefs have given rise to a threat that has become transnational and global in nature. In addition, it is perpetrated by non-State actors and groups that easily transcend borders and take root in various communities throughout the globe. To effectively address this development, working together has not only become a necessity, but is also in our best interests.”

During his presentation and in the discussions that followed, Ambassador Gaa also shared insights into the current security approach of the Philippines, stating that, “Decades of experience and recent successes have shown my Government that a purely military approach or solution is not sufficient and that a key aspect in addressing terrorism and insurgencies is understanding its root causes and effectively implementing programs that address these root causes. Soft and hard power must go hand in hand in tackling these root causes, a balance must be found for each particular situation but it is never advisable to implement one exclusive of the other.” END



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