May 10, 2017


Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meet with US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in Washington D.C. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met with US Secretary of State Rex Q. Tillerson recently where they reaffirmed the strategic partnership between both sides.
The Special ASEAN-US Foreign Ministers Meeting was held against the backdrop of the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-US dialogue relations.

“The Philippines reaffirms the importance of the ASEAN-US partnership especially to our community building. There is a high degree of convergence of interest between ASEAN and the US in maritime security, nuclear non-proliferation, cyber security, and combatting transnational crime, including terrorism and violent extremism, and trafficking in persons,” DFA Secretary Enrique A. Manalo told Secretary Tillerson during the meeting.

In particular, Secretary Manalo said the Philippines looks forward to deeper cooperation between ASEAN and the US following the entry into force of the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in March this year.The Philippines serves as Chairman of ASEAN for 2017, which coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the group’s establishment.

ASEAN Foreign Ministers attended a High-Level Roundtable Forum hosted by the Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) where they answered questions on the future of ASEAN-US relations.

“The Philippines looks forward to the US’ renewed commitment to ASEAN-US strategic partnership at the upcoming ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMC) + 1 in August and the 5th ASEAN-US Summit in November,” he added.
Secretary Tillerson and President Donald J. Trump already confirmed their attendance to the two meetings in Manila, respectively.

The two sides also exchanged views on the situation in the Korean Peninsula and agreed on the need for the full implementation of all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

They also reaffirmed the importance of adhering to a rules-based order in the South China Sea. Secretary Manalo underscored the Philippines’ commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes to achieve peace and stability in the region. He expressed hope for an early agreement on a framework for the Code of Conduct (CoC) in the SCS and the expeditious conclusion of the CoC itself.

ASEAN and the US also discussed their economic relations and welcomed further expansion of trade and investment ties.

Contributed/ Embassy of the Philippines, Washington DC

February 1, 2017

New Jersey Confirms Travel-Related Measles Case in Passaic County

Contact A Health Care Provider If You Suspect Exposure
A travel-related case of measles – a highly contagious disease – has been confirmed in Passaic County in an unvaccinated seven-month-old infant who traveled internationally. The infant may have exposed others between January 17-23 while infectious.
The infant visited the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital in Wayne on Jan. 21 from 6:53 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Pediatric Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson on Jan. 23 from 6:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
People exposed to the infant could develop symptoms as late as February 15. The child is currently recovering at home. The Passaic County is case is unrelated to the recently reported travel-related case of measles in a Hudson County adult male who also was exposed while traveling internationally.
St. Joseph’s is in the process of contacting those individuals who were potentially exposed. The Department of Health is working with local health officials to identify and notify people who might have been exposed during the time the infant was infectious. Anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department. Special arrangements can be made for evaluation while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection.
Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. It can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Measles infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby. Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed.
“A dose of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all children 12 to 15 months of age with a second shot recommended at 4 – 6 years of age,” said Assistant Commissioner Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist. “However, the CDC recommends that all people 6 months of age and older who will be traveling internationally be protected against measles.”
Before international travel:
  • Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose separated by at least 28 days).
  • Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
  • Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
Please check the Department's website for the most current information pertaining to locations of possible exposures for both NJ measles cases. For more information about what to do if you’ve been exposed to measles, visit the Department's measles factsheet. The CDC has additional information available here
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