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Department of Foreign Affairs-29October2009-updates

Secretary Romulo hosts Dinner in Honor of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 12:06 AM PDT

29 October 2009—Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo hosted a dinner in honor of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the Bahay Pangarap in Malacañan Park on 28 October 2009 on the occasion of Minister Yang’s visit to the Philippines. At the dinner, Secretary Romulo and Minister Yang presented gifts to each other. (Photo by: Benjamin Remo, DFA-PISU)

Among those who attended the dinner hosted by Secretary Alberto G. Romulo (3rd from left) in honor of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (3rd from right) were (L-R) Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Cataumber Brady, Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita, Vice-President Noli de Castro, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao. (Photo by: Benjamin Remo, DFA-PISU)

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Chinese Foreign Minister Concludes Successful Two-Day visit

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 11:55 PM PDT

29 October 2009 – Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi concluded today a successful two-day visit to the Philippines upon the invitation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo.

In the morning of 29 October 2009, Secretary Romulo and Minister Yang held a bilateral meeting at the Goldenberg Mansion. Together with respective senior officials, the two foreign ministers reviewed the whole range of bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction at the progress of their relations.

Both ministers agreed to maintain the momentum and frequency of high-level visits, and enhance practical cooperation in various fields, including on trade, investments, infrastructure, cultural and education exchanges, defense, law enforcement, health, sports, anti-drug trafficking, and inter-foreign ministry cooperation.

Both ministers also exchanged proposals on strengthening future bilateral cooperation, and discussed activities to mark in 2010 the 35th anniversary of Philippines-China diplomatic ties.

Following the meeting, Minister Yang called on President Arroyo, during which he reaffirmed his commitment to enhance bilateral relations and regional and international cooperation.

He recounted to President Arroyo that he and his wife stayed overnight in Malacanang in 1978 when they were young foreign service officers acting as interpreters for Chinese Vice Premier Li Xiannian who was on a visit to Manila.

After the call, President Arroyo witnessed the signing by Secretary Romulo and Minister Yang of two landmark agreements that aim to further enhance bilateral cooperation between the countries – the “Philippines-China Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation” (JAP) and the “Philippines-China Consular Agreement.”

The two agreements were initiated by Presidents Arroyo and Hu Jintao when the latter visited the Philippines in 2005. The signing marks the culmination of the sustained efforts of the Philippine and Chinese Foreign Ministries, under the guidance and direction of Secretary Romulo and Foreign Minister Yang.

The Joint Action Plan maps out the general strategic directions in bilateral cooperation in the next five years. Areas of cooperation under the Plan include: political; trade, investment, and finance; agriculture and fisheries; food safety; tourism; defense and security; law enforcement and judicial; consular; cultural, education, and media; science and technology; regional and multilateral cooperation; and sustainable development.

The Philippines-China Consular Agreement, meanwhile, is the first consular agreement that the Philippines has negotiated with another country. The Agreement addresses long-standing concerns of the Philippine Embassy and Consulates General in China with regard to the provision of assistance to nationals (ATN) services, such as notification of arrests and detention of Filipino nationals, repatriation and settlement of disputes.

After the conclusion of formal talks, Minister Yang was given a personal tour of the Malacanang Palace by President Arroyo. He later visited the historic Fort Santiago..

Upon arrival on 28 October, Minister Yang called on House Speaker Prospero C. Nograles. During the call, the two officials exchanged views on the state of bilateral cooperation, including the enhancement of party-to-party relations and parliamentary exchanges, economic cooperation in the wake of the financial crisis, and people-to-people exchanges.

Secretary Romulo also tendered a dinner in honor of the visiting Foreign Minister. The dinner was attended by Vice President Noli de Castro, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Liu Jianchao, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Cataumber Brady and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, among others. END

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RP election worker killed in Kabul Terrorist attack vs United Nations

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:37 PM PDT

29 October 2009 – A Filipina election volunteer was among five United Nations personnel killed in Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

On the basis of a report sent by Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hilario G. Davide, the Department of Foreign Affairs identified the slain Filipina as Jossie G. Esto, 40, an Electoral Outreach and Training Coordinator under the United Nations Volunteers Program.

Esto was killed when gunmen stormed the Bekhtar Guest House in Kabul’s Shar-e-Now District being used by UN and other international workers. The dawn attack, which left four other UN staff members dead, was later claimed by the Taliban.

Esto was a former school teacher who also worked as an electoral officer and civic education officer in the Philippines before serving as a UN volunteer in Liberia, Timor-Leste and Nepal. She was married with two children aged 14 and 11.

Esto is the fourth UN staff member from the Philippines to die in terrorist attacks targeting the world body. In 2003, Ranillo Buenaventura, a staff member of the UN Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq was killed in the suicide car bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad.

Last year, Gene Luna, a staff member of the World Food Program, was among the fatalities in the terrorist bombing of UN offices in Algiers, Algeria, while Perseveranda So, a staff member of the United Nations Children’s Fund, was among the victims in a suicide bomb attack on a hotel housing international workers in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Esto’s death came five years after Angelito Nayan, a Filipino UN volunteer assisting in the 2004 Afghan elections, was kidnapped in Kabul and held for three weeks by the Taliban before he was released..
Esto had been in Afghanistan for just over a year and was among several UN volunteers working with the United Nations Development Program/Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow (UNDP/ELECT) Project, which is the primary vehicle through which the international community supports elections in Afghanistan.

UNDP/ELECT works closely with electoral bodies such as the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan and provides project and program design and management, mobilization of donor funding, activity coordination, reporting and the channeling of funds for electoral support.

UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri expressed condolences on behalf of the organization’s 8,000 volunteers and staff to the families of Esto and Yah-Lydia Wonyene of Liberia, another UN Volunteer who was also killed in the attack.

“Jossie and Lydia dedicated their knowledge and experience as volunteers to support the people of Afghanistan,” Ms. Pansieri said. “As volunteers, they demonstrated a true commitment to the cause of peace and development and their sacrifice will not be forgotten.” END

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Statement on the Terrorist Attack in Kabul and the Death of Filipina U.N. Worker Jossie G. Esto

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:12 PM PDT

29 October 2009 – The Philippine Government condemns the terrorist attack perpetuated against United Nations personnel in Kabul yesterday (Oct 28) that claimed the life of Jossie G. Esto, a Filipina Electoral Outreach and Training Coordinator under the United Nations Volunteers Program, and those of four of her U.N. colleagues.

The Filipino nation joins her bereaved family and friends in mourning the loss of Ms. Esto, a wife and mother of two children and a dedicated worker for peace. Ms. Esto was an electoral and civic education officer in the Philippines before becoming a UN volunteer in Liberia, Timor-Leste and Nepal.

Ms. Esto is the fourth Filipino national killed in terrorist attacks against the United Nations in recent years.

The Philippines reaffirms its solidarity with the government and people of Afghanistan in their nation-building efforts. It calls on the international community to likewise condemn this latest terrorist outrage and to band together to improve the protection of civilians, particularly U.N. personnel and aid workers who are vulnerable to danger in the course of their duties.

The Philippines remains a stalwart supporter of the United Nations as it strives to build peace, promote development and provide emergency and humanitarian assistance around the world. The country takes deep pride in all Filipinos serving in the United Nations as officials, peacekeepers, specialists, staff members and volunteers wherever they may be. END

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PCG San Francisco and Filam Groups Ship Disaster Relief goods to the Philippines

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 06:15 PM PDT

29 October 2009 – Continuing its disaster relief operations, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, together with Johnny Air Cargo and The Collage Collection, sends an initial batch of donations collected from the local Filipino American community in the Bay Area and surrounding cites. Photo shows Consul Alfonso A. Ver (Center) with Mr. Ronnie Ferrer, Mr. Hadji Banson, Mr. Ryan Bermudes, Mr. Domingo Nebres, Mr. Patrick Ledonio, Mr. Ramoncito Mendoza, and Mr. Rene Cornista shipping the boxes of relief goods at the Johnny Air Cargo Office in Daly City. END

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Donation in-kind for Philippine Typhoon Victims

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 06:10 PM PDT

29 October 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Congressman Joey Manahan (District 29) called on the Consul General to determine the volume of the donations for the victims of the recent typhoons for shipment to the Philippines through the LBC Foundation. In an earlier statement, Representative Manahan stated, “There is no doubt that the recovery and rehabilitation process will require great effort and will rely on our generosity and willingness to give. I am glad to be working with various youth and student leaders as well as with Consul General Cardenas to do our part for the flood relief effort.”

Donors, community civic leaders and volunteers from youth and student groups from the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii Pacific University and the Brigham Young University gathered donations and assisted in the packing of the boxes containing blankets and beddings, reusable shoes and clothing and canned goods. Some fifty one (51) boxes have been packed for shipment to the Philippines. The Philippine Consulate General accepted donations-in-kind on behalf of Rep. Manahan from 8 to 25 October 2009. END

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PCG Honolulu joined the Typhoon Relief fund drive ad hoc Committee for Sunday Mass and Telethon

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 06:00 PM PDT

29 October 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General Honolulu joined the Typhoon Relief Fund Drive Ad-Hoc Coordinating Committee, the Filipino Community Center, Filipino community organizations from Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island, donors and volunteers for an “Appreciation and Final Push Event” on 25 October at the FilCom Center.

The three-week marathon fundraising campaign gathered an estimated cash donation of $120,000.00. All donations will go to Consuelo Foundation and various provincial Dioceses through CARITAS Manila.

Consulate officers and staff led by Consul General Leoncio R. Cardenas organized the Sunday Mass, assisted in the donation booth and participated in the KNDI Radio off-site telethon. As a donation site, the Consulate turned over $1,500.00 to FilCom Center President Germiniano Arre, Jr. and Ad-Hoc Committee Chairman Serafin Colmenares, Jr. END

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FALEO donates food items for Flood Victims

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 06:00 PM PDT

29 October 2009 – The Filipino American Law Enforcement Officers Association (FALEO), composed of police officers from the San Francisco Police Department, the Sheriff Department, and other law enforcement organizations in the Bay Area recently donated a number of food items for distribution to flood victims in the Philippines. Photo shows FALEO President, Sgt. William Escobar of the SFPD, handing over one of the donations to Deputy Consul General Wilfredo C. Santos at the Philippine Consulate General Disaster Relief Operations Drop-Off Area at the Philippine Center in San Francisco. Also in the photo are Consul Alfonso A. Ver, Police Liaison Officer Col. Edwin Erni, Philippine Center Business Manager Roberto de Lara, and East Bay Fil-Am community leaders Reggie Panganiban and Michael Borgonia. END

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Healthcare Insurance Coverage for Foreign Service Personnel

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 03:29 AM PDT

Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Bid:

The Department of Foreign Affairs – Bids and Awards Committee (DFA-BAC) is inviting interested bidders to apply for eligibility and to bid for the: HEALTHCARE INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR FOREIGN SERVICE PERSONNEL

Contact: BAC Secretariat, Office of Legal Affairs, 3rd Floor, DFA Bldg. 2330 Roxas Blvd. Pasay City, (tel nos. 834-4116 {Ms. Heidi Gardose} and fax. nos. 832-5359.

Activities: Pre-bid Conference – 09 November 2009, 2:30pm

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