PH embassies, consulates to remain open during COVID-19 pandemic: DFA

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2020 01:11 PM

MANILA - Philippine embassies and consulates will remain open even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Tuesday.

Locsin said he has instructed personnel in overseas posts to work in shifts so consulates need not close if a staffer contracts the virus. 

“I ordered shifts in consulates so COVID infections don't close consulates anymore. They stay open. Only shift with infection goes into quarantine; not everybody,” Locsin said in a tweet. 

“All Philippine consulates are open even if there are COVID infections because they work in shifts. This is a pandemic and a fun-demic. Although it is summertime, it is work time all the time."
DFA Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Brigido Dulay said guidelines have also been issued. 

Locsin added that the agency was eyeing to reward personnel of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrants Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA). 
“They are instructed never to put their cellphones on silent and answer on 2nd ring. In this pandemic there's lots a time to answer the phone unless you're OUMWA in the frontlines exposed to COVID. Thinking how to reward OUMWA—a bronze sculpture of a neck on a line all the time,” he said.