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Everything posted by KC813

  1. Gustav- Unless you have lots of extra time when in the Philippines and enjoy being bureaucratically shuffled around, it is usually easier to register the marriage at one of the seven Philippine Consulates in the States. BrettGC put you on the right track, but the instructions you will find on the consulate’s website with jurisdiction over your residence will be more specific to U.S. marriages. The list of consulates and their jurisdiction is at https://philippineembassy-dc.org/consulate-finder/. Find the correct consulate’s website to download the registration form and their local instructions. The process does get slightly more complicated if you or your spouse had a prior marriage, but it’s just paperwork! In practice, most Filipinos that get married in the U.S. never get around to registering their marriage unless they are going to change their name on the Philippine passport. But there really is no reason not to do the registration. Since you have only been married 4 years, I am guessing your wife is still a U.S. Permanent Resident, so don’t confuse the marriage registration forms with the ‘reacquiring citizenship’ paperwork. That is a whole different ballgame.
  2. Not just the West. As the presenter in this you tube correctly mentions, it was the UK, US and Russia that agreed to protect Ukraine. Russia appears to have changed its mind, or as Putin keeps implying to his people, Ukraine is still part of Russia. The memorandum was signed at time when denuclearizing small countries was considered more important then the remote chance of Ukraine becoming a potential flash point for nuclear conflict between US and Russia 28 years later. Much of the world is uniting over Ukraine and levying sanctions - likely a serious miscalculation by Putin. Seeing such a dangerous man being backed into a corner without a face-saving way out is starting to worry me....
  3. I wonder if that was a only temporary cancellation. PAL has rescheduled nonstop LAX-CEB beginning March 2nd. Twice weekly (Wednesdays and Fridays), but only loaded in the system thru the end of March. Perhaps you can change again to one of these flights?
  4. Now, this is useful! At least getting some results under US$100! We will probably see a lot of price variance from country to country based on each country's insurance laws. For some of us in the states, some Medicare Supplement plans include travel/medical coverage.
  5. My very quick and limited search from the US found nothing less then $550, and that was for coverage of US$250k without trip interruption. I know there must be some very limited policies out there form much less $$$. However, I wonder if policies really exist for as low as the IATF claims? From a CNN-Philippines article: IATF spokesperson Karlo Nograles said on Friday that foreign nationals from countries where visas are not required to enter the Philippines may travel to the country for business or tourism purposes provided that they “obtain, prior to arrival, a travel insurance for COVID-19 treatment costs from reputable insurers, with a minimum coverage of USD 35,000.00 for the duration of their stay." Nograles said the premium paid to some insurers that provide that coverage can be around P1,000 to P2,000. This may be like hunting for a unicorn.
  6. The insurance requirement seemed to come out of nowhere! I see it only applies to foreigners, not returning Filipinos. This new IATF resolution also has an expanded discussion of both balikbayan and 9(a) visa requirements, defines "fully vaccinated", and slightly broadens the list of acceptable proof of vaccination. A .pdf of the resolution is at https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2022/02feb/20220203-RESO-160B-RRD.pdf
  7. I see a much earlier time for the initial DFA posting. Could be Facebook adjusting for different readers’ time zones? I also saw that statement on the USEMB Health Alert. “The Philippines recognizes the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Vaccination Card as proof of vaccination status.” The word “recognizes” is a hyperlink, yet clicking on it does not lead you to anything that supports their statement. I imagine they are right, but since 10 February is approaching I have asked the post to verify the source. Despite the confusion, I also expect the U.S. CDC card will eventually be accepted for the new non-isolation entry, but a clear statement from the Philippine government would be a pleasant surprise!
  8. JGF - My first thought after reading your post was that a hacker was posting using your account. We all know that the normal progression in the Philippines for the first seven days of any Covid decrees is “Announcement - clarification - modify - backtrack - provide details - modify - backtrack - clarification” until the policy it is superseded or expires! But you are very right. Making an announcement that the borders will open in two weeks does immediately effect many people. I have been looking at the IATF resolution in regards to the proof of vaccination requirement. As you said in another thread, trying to comply with the rules reduces the risk of problems. Because of the sloppy releases of IATF/DFS/BI, I have still not seen conclusive evidence that the U.S. CDC vaccination card meets the stated IATF requirements because (for most of us in the states) it is not a “national/state digital certificate”. Also, the ‘lists of 30 countries’ that are posted by DFS/BI Facebook pages that I have seen all are dated January 26 (the day before the IATF 159 resolution), and in the small print at the bottom of the charts refer specifically to IATF resolutions that predated IATF 159. This leads me to believe those charts were compiled to assist in determining a person’s quarantine length – vaccinated versus unvaccinated. Did DFS issued those “30 countries” charts for a different purpose, and had no idea IATF was going to open the borders the next day!? All this to support JGF’s conclusion: “Now much confusion for many”.
  9. No. According to the IATF Resolution: f. Fully vaccinated nationals shall not be included in the arrival quota set by the Department of Transportation and its One-Stop-Shop. https://doh.gov.ph/COVID-19/IATF-Resolutions
  10. How many tickets have you booked in the last year? If this new policy eliminating the inbound vaccinated passenger cap actually lasts, a lot of airlines will gradually start ramping up flights to/from the Philippines and there will be fewer cancellations of existing scheduled flights. I would not expect quick schedule additions. The airlines have been burned too many times by Ph's sudden changes in passenger caps and Covid policies! However, the one airline that might quickly increase service to Australia is PAL. They have enough crew and midrange planes sitting around to up their schedule fairly quick. Unfortunately, after returning most of their leased longhaul aircraft as part of the bankruptcy settlement, service increases to London and the U.S. are going to take time. I don't know how I got off on doing an airliner forecast, but there you have it. Probably because I am like so many others, viewing fares and feeling a little optimistic!
  11. ThanksOld55 and Gator for some good information! I did not know about the Smart card. I see that about 17 states participate, plus a huge number of healthcare providers. I followed the link and like Gator I came up with the private provider's version that does have the QR code. Problem is, this is not a government program; mine and Gator's come from a private pharmacy so it does not match the wording in the requirement for a National/state digital certificate of the foreign government. Yet, there is also the catch-all wording of "unless otherwise permitted by the IATF", so I can still hope there will be some clarification. Of course, after two years of reading the constantly changing/updating/modifying Ph government Covid policies, I know that expecting clarity is a fool's folly!
  12. A good question. I was wondering the same thing. I do not see that the white "Vaccination Record Card" we are given in the U.S. would meet any of these requirements: a. World Health Organization International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis; b. VaxCertPH; or c. National/state digital certificate of the foreign government which has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF. The World Health Organization International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis is that yellow multi-fold card many of us still carry around to show immunizations (Hep A, typhoid, polio, etc). I think it may also be what is available upon request in the Philippines for Filipinos to use for international travel. The U.S. has no government "digital certificate". I wonder if the local health department will transfer the information from the white vaccination record to the yellow International Certificate? I bet the Ph will eventually say that the US card is acceptable. It is no less secure than the yellow international card!
  13. I have found Google Flights (google. com / flights) to be one of the best ways to find future flight options. After searching your departure/arrival cities and some random dates, you can click on "Price Graph" to see an interactive chart showing prices for the next 11 months. You can also refine the search to specific airlines. Obviously, there has been a lot of flight disruptions the last 19 months, so all the airlines can do is publish routes and fares that they think/hope will be allowed to fly in the future.
  14. Your questions are really directed more to lifestyle than to economics. You will not find too many lengthy discussions of high living since the goal of many of the expats on this board is to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, often away from Manila. And since many (lucky!) members are out relaxing in the provinces, they are closer to the problems faced by the bulk of the population. But, Yes, if you chose to live and spend most of your time in the more upscale parts of Manila, and associate mainly with an upper-middle class crowd, you will be able to avoid some of the inconveniences and and injustices you may have read about. I know and work closely with many who live that life, both Western corporate employees and Filipinos. Some are very decent folks. Some (often the kids) are self-entitled and willfully blind to the difficulties faced by those with lower income. (The social media backlash against ‘Poblacion Girl’ has elevated the visibility of this group). Just like in any other social setting, no doubt you will chose your friends wisely. Of course, you will still have to develop your own way of handling the common frustrations of dealing with the government bureaucracy, immigration, and general inefficiencies! As far as doing business in the Ph, the answer depends on matching the type of business with the proper immigration status. That's a whole different discussion completely based on the details of what you may be considering. The general advice for high/medium business development in the Ph is to follow the rules, choose associates carefully and limit your financial risks since you are in a country with an often dysfunctional court system.
  15. Yes, that is one of the several reasons some people may still wish for a large family. Yet, I doubt few people were thinking “I need a big family” when engaged in the act that produced their future heir. As I recall, there was often some other motivation...
  16. Yes, "administering 53,157 jabs out of the available 38,151 doses" does certainly get you scratching your head!
  17. I once had an office in Kansas, right near a cattle feed lot which gave the town a distictly pungent “fragrance”. Sometimes it bothered me, but the locals called it “the smell of money” and never complained. LM, It sounds like you were in the Philippines long enough to get an understanding of the frustrations – and also some of the good things as you are exploring properties there. As quasi-outsiders, we do view things from a different perspective then locals. But as I’m sure you will agree, any substantial changes in the PH will have to come from within. We either adapt or move on. Yet, venting a little steam now and then is part of how some of us cope when we are there! WELCOME!
  18. While I agree that the artificial Dolomite beach is folly, I am pretty sure this picture is from Baseco Beach, further north on Manila Bay.
  19. Wasn't that the story line of a Doctor Who episode? If your friend has one of these blue boxes in his house, maybe we are being too skeptical!
  20. Those are the numbers the government reported, so no, there probably won’t be any better or different numbers released by the Philippines. Most Covid statistics routinely issued by the Philippines (and by many other countries) must to be evaluated by giving consideration given to local reporting irregularities/protocols, political PR desires and general (or lack of) government efficiencies. Viewed in that context, most numbers reported in the Philippines have questionable value for other than spotting trends, and the numbers certainly cannot be equally compared to other countries. But MikeJ, I think you knew that and was just yanking our chain a little! Just for fun, here are my lowly thoughts on some Philippine Covid stats: The daily “New Cases” numbers have low value without knowing the number of people tested and their demographics. At many times during this pandemic there were great variances in the numbers of people tested and in different geographic areas; both those factors directly effected the published ‘case numbers’ and as result, also skewed the published positivity rate. But assuming there are sometimes periods of consistent testing, then the positive case count has some value when viewed over long periods of time. The only value in showing a number for “Recovered” (other than complying with the govt’s “request” for the media to show it) is to remind the public of the very true fact that the vast majority of people who test positive will survive. The same is true with the govt’s endorsement of showing a comparison between Philippine Covid numbers and select other countries of different sizes and reporting methods (India, US, Indonesia). Of course, the chart always results in making the Ph numbers (not %) look better. I like to follow the hospital utilization rates as those are important for some of us old guys trying to get back over there. It also gives a good indication of actual Covid conditions. Even these have to be considered in the context in which they exist. Recall that at several times in this long pandemic the government mandated hospitals to increase ICU and Covid beds. Since then, some major facilities expanded their ICU capacity by over 250%, others created outside wards or repurposed other wards and common areas. While the government and DOH like to cite the percentage of “available beds” as a positive indication of how well they are coping, we know that a 50% occupancy rate now means there are many more patients then what would have been a 50% occupancy a year ago. Of course, we all know that having more beds available does not mean they also have more staff to adequately care for the patients in those beds. Some on this forum have had direct experience with that problem! I could go on and on but the point I am poorly making is that we should never take a published Covid statistic or comparison at face value. Not all numbers are arrived at equally and reliably.
  21. KenM- As always, you are getting some good advice here from very observant people who understand what being in the Philippines is all about and whose opinions may be from a different viewpoint then your Filipino friends in California. Entry to the Philippines is in constant flux and can change while you are in the air. Many of us are stuck outside and increasing hospitalizations are an indication that we will be out for some more months. But if planning an affluent lifestyle (by local standards) and able to afford whatever travel glitches and special services may be required, it certainly is just a matter of the right paperwork, right timing and then let the adventure begin! Yet, I know many pet owners consider their dog to be family (I have a “grand-dog”) and would not intentionally put them at more risk then absolutely necessary. Bringing a pet to the Philippines will always involve a little risk, yet most attempts seem to be successful with only minor hiccups. However, bringing a pet during Covid & mandatory isolation does elevate the chances of a snafu, possibly subjecting your 'family member' to additional risks that may be avoided by waiting for the situation to stabilize. Even if you find a hotel on the approved list, you call them and they agree to walk your dog for you, don’t be surprised if it does not happen when you get here. Phone/email promises evaporate faster than my cash around my in-laws. Perhaps Mike J’s suggestion of a service is worth considering, assuming that they can reliably operate during the constantly changing Covid restrictions. Rules change here continually and inconsistency is more the norm than the exception. This is not the kind of country where you can just ask to speak the a supervisor after getting a decision you don’t like and then have your issue resolved. Good luck, and keep pushing on the visa paperwork!
  22. This is funny! So is this. You guys sure keep me laughing!
  23. This is going to be a story that never stops giving: Rains bring trash, water hyacinths to Manila Bay 'dolomite' beach Due to incessant rains brought by enhanced southwest monsoon, trash and water hyacinths were washed ashore in Manila Bay's "white sand" area or "dolomite" beach, according to Jonathan Andal's report on Unang Balita on Thursday. Residents said the trash probably came from the Pasig River and provinces surrounding Manila Bay. The mess will be cleaned up by marshals within the day, the report said. A 500-meter stretch of coastline near the US Embassy in Manila has been filled with sand made from tons of crushed dolomite boulders from the Visayas. The use of artificial sand has been met with criticism, with environmental groups saying the facelift focuses only on aesthetics and has little to do with rehabilitation. —KBK, GMA News https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/metro/796294/rains-bring-trash-water-hyacinths-to-manila-bay-dolomite-beach/story/ There are Twitter pictures in the article, but I couldn't get them to post here.
  24. Yet, every newspaper editorial I've seen is telling the DOE to stop whining and to fix the education system. Not a lot of sympathy for claiming the 2018 & 2019 studies were "old data". I doubt any study after a year of Covid remote learning would improve the country's score.
  25. Mike J- It was not this chart, but this has some good information on the pending vaccines. The other chart included one more column showing actual usage v. distributed, and more detail on the cost/method of acquisition. It has always been hard to find in-depth numbers here. No doubt some agencies prefer we just listen to their publicly-stated opinions of how well they are doing. There is another chart on Rappler that breaks down the source of doses received as of June 28. I've linked it because I'm not techy enough to separate out just the interactive chart!
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