Duterte signs OE Protection Services for Refugees, Stateless Persons and Asylum Seekers

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President Rodrigo Duterte in his public address. Screenshot from RTVM/Palace video

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has institutionalized access to protection services for refugees, stateless people and asylum seekers.

Duterte signed Executive Order No. 163, a copy of which was sent to reporters on Wednesday.

Under the order, the Philippines recognizes the importance and enduring relevance of the 1951 United Nations (UN) Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol of 1967, 1954 United Nations Congresses relating to the Status of stateless person and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness “and took steps to strengthen the existing legal framework and legal mechanisms for the protection of refugees, stateless persons and asylum seekers in the country … and address their need for protection, particularly in times of public emergency”.

With this, the country will protect the rights of persons under its jurisdiction (POC) to freedom, security and mobility.

“These must include access to socio-economic services, social security benefits, gainful employment and humane working conditions, education, participation in judicial and administrative procedures for citizenship, legal assistance and access to courts, and freedom of religion,” the order reads.

He added, “POCs have a concomitant obligation to abide by the laws and regulations of the country, including measures relating to the protection of public health and the maintenance of public order and national security.”

An Inter-Agency Committee for the Protection of Refugees, Stateless Persons and Asylum Seekers is also established to provide services and assistance to such persons.

Meanwhile, local government units are “encouraged to support the integration of POCs within their communities, to carry out information and awareness campaigns and to make available the programs and services necessary to facilitate such integration in the local development frameworks, including development programming and emergency response and recovery”. executives”.

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