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Philippines asks US for temporary protected status

MANILA, Philippines - As millions try to rise from the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippines has formally requested the United States to place the country under a Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario said designating the Philippines under TPS will allow eligible Filipinos to stay and work in the US to assist in the country’s continuing recovery efforts after the monster typhoon hit Central Visayas last month.

The said request was officially conveyed on December 13 by Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. to the Department of Homeland Security through a Note Verbale sent to the US Department of State.

The DFA said the request will be evaluated first by US authorities and may take some time. 

If the request is approved, eligible Filipinos can start filing their applications which will be reviewed on a case-to-case basis.

Also if approved, the Philippines will join El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Honduras as the countries that were placed under TPS after going through similar natural disasters.

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Yolanda slammed into the country last month and swept communities in Eastern Visayas, particularly in Leyte, with its powerful winds and tsunami-like storm surges.

More than 6,000 people have been killed due to the disaster while over 1,000 remain missing.

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