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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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