Filipino Secretary of Social Welfare and Development to QNA: Visit of HH the Amir Significant, Looking Forward to Learning from Qatar’s Social Development Experience

HE Secretary of Social Welfare and Development of the Republic of the Philippines Rex Gatchalian highlighted that the visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Manila indicates both countries’ eagerness to strengthen and enhance their bilateral relations to the highest levels.

His Excellency told Qatar News Agency that the visit of HH the Amir to Manila will open the door for cooperation on social welfare and development, enabling the Philippines to benefit from the successful Qatari experience with regards to development and social protection and welfare.

His Excellency added that his country looks forward to cooperation with the State of Qatar on supporting the Philippines’ disaster response, human capital development, and social security, adding that the Philippines and Qatar could learn from one another’s experiences in this sector.

HE the Filipino Secretary of Social Welfare and Development noted that the standing cooperation between the State of Qatar and the Philippines in many fields,
adding that the State of Qatar on multiple occasions has expressed its eagerness to support development projects, social welfare services, and disaster response in the Philippines, adding that these endeavors will definitely deepen bilateral relations.

His Excellency said that his country needs support with regards to capacity building in technical knowledge and resource management in order to enhance his country’s programs relating to sectors of importance which provide security to the poor, the marginalized, and the weak, adding that these fields are important to enhance bilateral relations regarding social affairs.

At the conclusion of his statements to QNA, HE the Filipino Secretary of Social Welfare and Development appreciated the State of Qatar’s support for social development plans and its care for the most vulnerable social segments in various countries.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Department of Meteorology Warns of Thundery Rain Associated with Strong Wind and High Sea Tonight

Doha: Weather inshore tonight until 6:00 am on Wednesday will be hazy with scattered clouds to partly cloudy with chance of scattered rain, maybe thundery at places at times, the Department of Meteorology said in its daily weather report, warning of expected thundery rain at places associated with sudden strong wind and poor visibility.

Offshore, it will be hazy and scattered clouds to partly cloudy with chance of scattered rain, maybe thundery at times, the report added, warning of expected thundery rain associated with strong wind and high sea.

Wind inshore will be mainly southeasterly to northeasterly 05 to 15 knot gusting to 30 knot with thundery rain.

Offshore, it will be southeasterly to northeasterly 06 to 16 knot gusting to 25 knot with thundery rain.

Visibility will be 05 to 09/02 kilometers or less with thundery rain.

Sea state inshore will be 1 to 3 feet rises to 4 feet with thundery rain. Offshore will be 2 to 4 feet rises to 8 feet with thundery rain.

Area High Tide Low Tide Mini ———-
—————- ——————- ————- Messaid 05:03 19:02 00:33 11:59 28 Wakrah: 03:49 18:31 11:15 ******* 27 Doha: 03:29 17:19 11:18 ******* 29 Al Khor: 03:16 16:48 11:01 23:38 26 Ruwais 05:08 17:26 11:34 ******* 27 Dukhan: 10:05 22:24 03:48 16:16 27 Sunrise: 04:52 LT Sunset: 18:08 LT ——————

Source: Qatar News Agency

Qatar Charity Supports Food Security in Northern Syria

Doha: Qatar Charity (QC) has set up an automated bread production line in Maabatli in the Afrin district of northern Syria, as part of Qatar Charitys Support the Wheat Value Chain project for the fifth consecutive year.

The bread production line aims to enhance food security in northern Syria, improve self-sufficiency, and support the local community. The production capacity of this production line reaches 15,000 loaves of bread per day to meet the needs of more than 50,000 people, especially internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in camps.

These efforts come within the framework of Qatar Charity’s projects for early recovery, development, and sustainability in the region.

In its fifth consecutive year, the project has succeeded in supporting 120 farmers who benefited from agricultural input support such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and the cost of fuel for irrigation. Qatar Charity purchased 1200 tons of wheat from farmers in the area, and 925 tons of flour were processed and distributed to ba
keries in the region, to be sold at subsidized prices. The number of beneficiaries exceeded 25,000 IDPs living in camps. Additionally, the project distributes free bread to IDPs in several camps, benefiting around 5000 individuals.

In this context, Director of Services and member of the Local Council in Maabatli, Aref Mohammed Ali extended thanks to Qatar Charity for its vital role in improving living conditions in the camps through this project, especially since the automated bread production line plays a pivotal role in providing subsidized and free bread, reducing financial burdens on the population and enhancing food security in the region.

It is worth mentioning that Qatar Charity seeks to fund the sixth edition of the project, and looks for periodic financing due to its significant importance in supporting the resilience of IDPs and farmers by economically empowering them.

The plan for the sixth year focuses on expanding support and building resilience in local communities through new activities targ
eting climate change, and enhancing the role of women in rural areas to work on wheat products, as well as providing agricultural machinery to farmers and local institutions operating in the region to address climate change.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Philippines to QNA: HH the Amir’s Visit Serves As Platform For Leaders to Discuss Mutual Interests

Doha: HE Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines Enrique Manalo said that the visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Manila will serve as a platform for the leaders to discuss matters of mutual interest, as well as ways of increasing political and economic cooperation.

In an interview with Qatar News Agency , His Excellency said, “this is an opportune time to engage in meaningful conversations, noting that we will be celebrating the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries next month in May.” He added that, “the Philippines and the State of Qatar have enjoyed more than four decades of cordial bilateral relations. I am optimistic that the friendship between our two countries will reach new heights in the years to come.” “While a long tradition of people-to-people exchanges serve as the backbone of Philippine-Qatari relations, we also wish to increase investment and boost economic cooperation,” His Excellency explained.

He poi
nted out that the Philippines introduced reforms that simplified investment requirements and processes, and expressed hope that more Qatari businesses will participate in sectors that have been previously closed to foreign investors.

The Philippines looks forward to collaborating with Qatar in both traditional and non-traditional areas, he said, adding that “while labor relations remain to be a vital pillar, we aspire to broaden our partnership in other fields, such as renewable energy, tourism, and development of the Philippines’ halal industry.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines stressed that they also seek enhance cooperation with Qatar in regional and multilateral spaces, on issues of mutual concern.

He touched upon the role of the Filipino community in Doha in strengthening the ties between Qatar and the Philippines, noting that there are approximately 260,000 Filipinos consider the State of Qatar their second home.

“We are proud of their achievements and their contri
butions to both our economies. Their welfare remains a top priority,” he said, acknowledging Qatar’s supports towards initiatives meant to ensure the well-being of overseas workers.

He added, “our countries’ labor relations are premised on trust. At both the official and popular levels, shared values enable stakeholders to effectively engage with each other, guided by mutual confidence and respect.” He appreciated all efforts that help safeguard the rights of overseas Filipino workers, pointing out that his country is in close coordination with the Qatar government in this regard.

His Excellency stated, “we are hopeful that reforms across the region continue to evolve to encompass the more vulnerable sectors of the labor market. We welcome initiatives that contribute to enhancing labor mobility.” HE Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines also commended the State of Qatar’s mediation efforts amidst the dispute in the Middle East. “We acknowledge the country’s crucial role in working
towards the cessation of hostilities, and in the continuing search for lasting peace in the region,” he said, adding that the Philippines yearns for a Middle East where peoples who have lived in insecurity for several generations will finally be able to live together in peace and stability.” He welcomed Qatar’s signing of the instrument of accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), which is a foundational document of ASEAN, adding that Qatar’s accession to TAC is a manifestation of their commitment to contribute to the maintenance of peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

On relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council, His Excellency emphasized the importance of the relations between his country and Gulf countries, saying, “approximately two million Filipinos consider the Gulf their home away from home. This number speaks volumes about the importance of the GCC to the Philippines.” “Amidst the ongoing economic diversification within the GCC, we reaffirm our commitment to enga
ge cooperatively in the economic, labor, and socio-cultural sectors,” he said.

HE Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines Enrique Manalo concluded his statements to QNA by stressing that he is positive that “Philippines and the GCC countries can work together in mapping out ways on how our sovereign wealth funds can become more beneficial for our nations and peoples.”

Source: Qatar News Agency

Israeli Occupation Aggression Kills 34,097 Palestinians, Injures 76,980 Others

The ongoing israeli occupation’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, which started on Oct. 7 has killed at least 34,097 Palestinians and injured at least 76,980 others, according to the health authorities in Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health pointed out that the occupation forces committed five massacres against families in the Strip in the past 24 hours, killing 48 Palestinian and injuring 79 others.

There are still many victims either under the rubble or on the streets, as the occupation prevents ambulance and civil defense from reading them, the ministry added.

The intense and unprecedented israeli occupation aggression against the Gaza Strip continues for the 198th consecutive day, with dozens of dozens of air strikes and bombardments by land and sea, as the occupation bombs health facilities, residential areas and citizens’ homes and demolishes them with their residents inside – killing or injuring them.

The israeli occupation has already killed tens of thousands of Palestinians and wounded many mor
e, in addition to the unprecedented humanitarian tragedy caused by the aggression, as hundreds of thousands of residents of the Gaza Strip live in extremely difficult conditions in light of the occupation preventing the access of humanitarian aid and the lack of water, food, medicine and fuel.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Ambassador of the Philippines to Qatar: HH the Amir’s Visit to Manila is Strong Indication of Flourishing Relations Between Two Countries

Doha: HE Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the State of Qatar Lillibeth Velasco Pono stressed that the visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Manila is a strong indication of flourishing relations between the two countries.

In a statement to Qatar News Agency , Her Excellency said “such a high-level visit is a strong indication of flourishing relations between our two countries. It also provides an excellent opportunity for the two sides to have a personal exchange of views on bilateral issues and foster greater engagement arising from a shared sense of responsibility as regional and global actors.” She also stressed that HH the Amir’s visit is a great opportunity to broaden the scope of the two nations’ existing fields of cooperation beyond people-to-people relations to encompass trade and investment, agriculture, defense, education, energy, and culture.

Her Excellency noted that the Philippines and the State of Qatar enjoy excellent relations, bound by 43 years of formal di
plomatic ties and enduring bonds of friendship that have gone from strength to strength over time.

She added, “Manila is resolute in keeping cordial ties with Doha and is keen to broaden the scope of the two nations’ existing fields of cooperation beyond people-to-people relations to encompass trade and investment, agriculture, defense, education, energy, and culture. The Philippines also intends to enhance cooperation with Qatar before regional and multilateral spaces on issues of relevance to both sides.” She expressed her interest in the convening of the Philippines-Qatar Joint Economic, Commercial, and Technical Committee. “Once operationalized, this mechanism will serve as a critical platform that will allow various government bodies and institutions from both sides to achieve shared objectives by drawing up relevant action plans and identifying concrete measures to facilitate the conduct of business,” Her Excellency explained.

The Philippines and Qatar have concluded over 20 agreements covering a broa
d range of thematic areas, include agreements on investments, taxation, air services, labor, establishment of a political consultation mechanism, agriculture, as well as economic, commercial, and technical cooperation, she said, adding that “we are hopeful that during the visit of HH the Amir, we can conclude more MOUs on other key areas of cooperation, particularly in the field of trade, climate change, consular matters, sports, and youth.” She emphasized that the relationship between the Philippines and Qatar is founded on robust people-to-people ties, noting that “as of date, there are over 260,000 Filipinos from across various sectors and industries who call Qatar their home and who collectively contribute to the economic vibrancy and dynamism that the peninsula is known for. Their welfare remains a priority for both the Philippines and Qatar.” This relationship is also anchored on trust, mutual confidence, and shared values, she explained, adding that the Philippines will continue to collaborate with Qat
ar in reinforcing rule of law, equality, and mutual respect as the foundation for the kind of global action that overcomes differences among nations, promotes an inclusive and just society, and facilitates sustainable and just response to challenges such as public health emergencies, humanitarian crises, and climate change.

Her Excellency noted that enhancing the already robust people-to-people ties between the Philippines and Qatar is a priority area for the two countries, and they are looking at strengthening engagement in two sectors: culture and labor.

Regarding cultural cooperation, she said that they are now in discussions on the possible conclusion of an MOU for cooperation in the field of culture between the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Culture of the State of Qatar.

To further deepen understanding between the two countries, the Philippines is also keen to take part in Qatar’s Year of Culture initiative, among other cultural pro
grams, to foster intercultural exchange and strengthen ties between nations and their peoples, she added.

Moreover, having one of the biggest expatriate communities in Qatar, the Philippines seeks to create a more visible platform through which it could share its history and culture through arts, sports, food, and education to various publics in Qatar.

On labor matters, Her Excellency the Ambassador stressed her country’s desire to strengthen cooperation on labor matters so that both sides can continue productive engagement. On that note, she is looking forward to the reconvening of the Joint Committee Meeting on Labor Matters in the second quarter of 2024.

“We are in constant dialogue with the different stakeholders in the Philippines and in Qatar, especially the Ministry of Labor, in order to strengthen our mechanisms for cooperation. To this end, we look forward to the convening of the Joint Committee Meeting on Labor Matters to discuss labor issues, human trafficking, and other issues of mutual concern
,” she said.

She also expressed appreciation for Qatar’s active support for the promotion of Philippine culture through the provision of space that allows for the articulation of Philippine artistry, heritage, and creativity, adding that they hope that this cultural cooperation and partnership will blossom through the formalization of mechanisms for deeper and longer engagement between the two countries.

HE Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines stressed that both countries are also working closely to deepen economic cooperation since the full potential of this area of cooperation has yet to be fully tapped.

She pointed out that maritime governance is an area of common action, as both the Philippines and Qatar are States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which sets out the legal framework for the governance of the world’s oceans and seas.

She noted that the Philippines, which is an archipelagic maritime nation, and Qatar, which is a peninsula, can celebrate sh
ared maritime heritage and develop stronger cooperation to keep seas safe, marine ecosystems healthy, and strategic maritime waterways secure, free, and open.

On trade, HE Ambassador Lillibeth Velasco Pono said that the trade volume between the Philippines and Qatar amounted to close to USD 600 million with Qatar’s exports to the Philippines totaled to around USD 540 million.

“We are optimistic that bilateral trade will reach its full potential through engagements between the private sector businesses of both countries, which the governments of the Philippines and Qatar are fully supportive of. I am happy to note that the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) have initiated partnerships that would ensure growth in bilateral economic ties,” she said.

Her Excellency stressed that both countries are also working closely to foster stronger investment relations. She expressed her country’s interest in having Qatari investors become part of the P
hilippine economic growth trajectory through participation in the Philippines’ investment priority areas, such as in digital and physical connectivity, health, power and energy, agriculture, and water supply.

The Philippines has every bit what it takes to become the next great investment destination with its sound macroeconomic fundamentals, an agile and skilled workforce, and friendly business climate, she said, adding that the Philippines also serves as a gateway to broader markets in the geo-strategic Indo-Pacific region.

She noted that an economic briefing by a ministerial-level delegation from the Philippines was successfully held in Doha in September last year, pointing out that the event served as an excellent opportunity for the Philippine side to meet with potential partners from Qatar and provide pathways for greater engagement across a wide range of sectors.

She praised Qatar’s active efforts to preserve and strengthen a rules-based international order, which resonate with the Philippines. This
boils down to the recognition that a rules-based global order is vital in guaranteeing peace and stability.

The Philippines also recognizes the pivotal role Qatar plays in addressing issues of importance in the Gulf Region and beyond, she said, noting that Qatar has a demonstrated history of promoting preventive diplomacy and taking part in mediation efforts for the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

She also expressed her country’s appreciation for Qatar’s efforts to facilitate the release of two (2) Filipinos held as captives in Gaza in the previous year, stressing that Philippines and Qatar share the mutual objective of seeing an immediate cessation of hostilities in the region and the establishment of a pathway for durable and lasting peace.

“Like Qatar, the Philippines has played a bridging and moderating role in many multilateral settings where polarities have threatened consensus, and it intends to continue discharging this role,” Her Excellency said.

She also noted Qatar’s accession to the Treaty o
f Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2022, which acknowledges the primary role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the regional architecture. As such, the Philippines looks forward to Doha’s closer engagement with the ASEAN in the coming years, she said.

Qatar’s economic policies and economic openness have elevated the country towards its current position as one of the region’s strongest economies, and one of the world’s richest, Her Excellency the Ambassador stated, adding, “I agree with many observers that Qatar’s legislative and administrative system is an enabler that promotes and attracts business and investments, propelling the peninsula’s vibrant economy. Qatar’s economic diversification blueprint forming part of the National Vision 2030 ensures that the social and economic well-being of the nation is secured in the years to come.” She expressed her pride in the contributions of the Filipino community to the development process in the State of Qatar, adding that the Philip
pines recognizes the various progressive initiatives undertaken by the Qatar Government in recent years to ensure the protection and welfare of Filipinos working in Qatar.

HE Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the State of Qatar Lillibeth Velasco Pono concluded her statement to QNA by stressing that “the Philippines regards Qatar as a trusted friend and a reliable partner. As such, we are keen to undertake the necessary steps to draw our nations even closer and underscore our shared commitment for prosperity and peace. As both nations navigate their paths to progress and development in a world increasingly fraught with profound challenges, HH the Amir’s historic visit to the Philippines is a demonstration of efforts to galvanize the action needed to elevate our bilateral relations to new heights.”

Source: Qatar News Agency