The public is reminded that under current government risk mitigation measures against COVID-19, foreign nationals are restricted from entering the Philippines until further notice. Immigration Memorandum Circular No. JHM-2020-004 issued by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration on 07 July 2020 reiterates that only the following foreign nationals shall be allowed entry into the Philippines:
- Foreign spouses and dependent children of Filipino nationals
- Accredited Foreign Government and International Organization officials and their dependents
- Members of international airline crews
Those who wish to get in touch with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration may do so through any of their contact details listed in immigration.gov.ph.
H.E. ANTONIO M. LAGDAMEO
Internationa Day of the Seafarer, 25 June 2020
Ladies and gentlemen, we at the Philippine Embassy to the United Kingdom, which is also the Philippine permanent delegation to the International Maritime Organisation, greet you all on the occasion of the International Day of the Seafarer.
Because over 80% of global trade is transported by sea, the work of seafarers is vital to the world’s economy, even during normal times. Their role becomes even more crucial to all of us in the midst of major upheavals, such as the COVID-19 pandemic we currently find ourselves in. Seafarers ensure that the world is able to trade despite the challenges and disruptions that have been magnified by current circumstances. Like healthcare professionals, seafarers are at the frontline of the response to this pandemic because their work allows food, medicine, fuel and other vital supplies to reach those who need them the most.
Ironically, seafarers have also suffered much as the world responded to COVID-19. Travel restrictions meant to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus have also limited seafarers’ access to ports and essential services. Many of them have been separated from family and loved ones far longer than usual, sometimes for periods that can no longer be considered healthy. This, I believe, makes today’s observance even more meaningful, as we pause to acknowledge their important contribution to global trade, and the many hardships they endure as they carry out their duties.
Of the more than 1.6 million seafarers plying the waves, nearly half a million are Filipinos. We at the Philippine Embassy recognize the huge contribution of these men and women not only to the world’s seaborne trade but also to our country’s economy. To honour them, the Embassy ensures that we remain accessible for their consular needs, especially in these critical times. We continue to be vigilant in ensuring that their rights are protected and their welfare is promoted. And through our representation at the IMO, we ensure that the international community recognizes the inherent value of Filipino seafarers to the world at large.
Happy International Day of the Seafarer. May you have fair winds and following seas.
View the video message here
“Because over 80% of global trade is transported by sea, the work of seafarers is vital to the world’s economy, even during normal times. Their role becomes even more crucial to all of us in the midst of major upheavals, such as the COVID-19 pandemic we currently find ourselves in,” said Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo in a video message aired by the Philippine Embassy in London on the occasion of the International Day of the Seafarer.
The Philippines has been recognised as one of the largest sources of seafarers around the world, deploying more than 500,000 Filipino seafarers out of 1.6 million around the world. Many of them are recruited to man international tankers and sea vessels, often working at sea for several months before they are able to reunite with their families and loved ones.
The Embassy joined the other 174 member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in recognizing seafarers as key workers, especially as the world continues to battle COVID-19. The Embassy concurrently serves as the Philippine Mission to the IMO and actively works towards upholding the rights and welfare of seafarers and shaping maritime policy to promote safety and security in global maritime trade. The Philippines has been a member state of the IMO since 1964.
“Like healthcare professionals, seafarers are at the frontline of the response to this pandemic because their work allows food, medicine, fuel and other vital supplies to reach those who need them the most,” said the Ambassador, highlighting the critical role seafarers play in these unprecedented times.
According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, sea-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) remitted more than USD 6.5 billion as of 2019, accounting for more than 20% of total remittances. Because of this, sea-based OFWs are considered a major OFW segment.
Because of the current pandemic, the Embassy has doubled its efforts in providing support and assistance to Filipino seafarers by making its consular services more accessible to sea-based OFWs and by reuniting distressed seafarers with their families through several waves of repatriation.
“We continue to be vigilant in ensuring that their rights are protected and their welfare is promoted. And through our representation at the IMO, we ensure that the international community recognizes the inherent value of Filipino seafarers to the world at large,” said the Ambassador.
A Letter from the British Chamber of Commerce and the Philippine British Business Council Expressing Admiration for Filipinos in the British Healthcare System
To His Excellency Ambassador A Lagdameo,
Philippine Ambassador to The United Kingdom
We want, on behalf of the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines and the U.K. arm of the Philippine British Business Council, to express our organisations’ admiration for the work of Philippine nurses and carers in the British healthcare system since the start of the virus. We know that thousands of Filipinos have worked tirelessly through the epidemic supporting hospitals and care homes, and that tragically some thirty have already lost their lives as a result.
Please could you pass on our deepest condolences to the relatives and friends of those Filipinos who have passed away, and our thanks for the work of so many Philippine workers whose hard work, commitment and bravery has helped to ensure that our health system continues to function.
Peter Beckingham, Chair, Philippines British Business Council UK.
Chris Nelson, Executive Director British Chamber of Commerce Philippines.
Cc: Richard Graham, MP, Prime Minister’s Trade Representative to the Philippines;
Ambassador Daniel Pruce, British Embassy, Manila