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Department of Foreign Affairs – Updates



PR-668-09, 26 August 2009 – Philippine Consul General to Vancouver Ruth Morales Prado led a successful Consular Outreach at the Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta Canada from 14 to 16 August 2009.

A total of 1,902 consular services were rendered which included passport processing (1,839); dual citizenship (57); and notarials (6).

A record-breaking 1,839 Filipinos applied for Machine Readable Passports during the three-day consular outreach from all over Alberta and adjacent cities. The team collected a total of CAD$77,620 during the three-day event.

The consular outreach also provided assistance to labor-related problems. The big turn out of applicants from all over the region was due to the Consulate’s effective information dissemination a month before and the enlistment of support from Filipino community groups in Alberta.

Consul General Prado was accompanied by Vice Consul Melanie Rita Balisi Diano, Welfare Officer Jay Jasper Javines; Messrs. Florencio Ilagan and Roberto Fajardo; Mlles. Lorna Marasigan; Bennet Ganata; Gaudiosa Garcia and Emilyn Clemente.

Alberta is home to almost 50,000 people of Filipino descents and almost 1,500 foreign temporary workers. END


Posted: 26 Aug 2009 12:18 AM PDT

PH-135-09, 26 August 2009 –The Philippine team was declared champion of the ASEAN Mexico Central American Group (AMCAG) Bowling Tournament held at Boliche Polanco on August 8.

The AMCAG, composed of ASEAN member countries represented in Mexico, held the tournament to mark the 42nd anniversary of the founding of ASEAN as well as to foster camaraderie and friendship among the staff and families of the Embassies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. END


Posted: 25 Aug 2009 11:56 PM PDT

PR-667-09, 26 August 2009 – Chargé d’ Affaires, a.i. Bernadette A. Mendoza of the Philippine Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya reported on the Family Day Celebrations organized by the ASEAN embassies held on 08 August 2009.

The gathering was aimed at promoting the camaraderie among the members of the ASEAN community in Kenya. It was open to all the members of the communities of ASEAN countries in Nairobi. The Ambassadors of Japan, China, Korea and Argentina attended the event.

A fashion show featuring national dresses worn by models from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia was held. Each group had the music of its country playing in the background while selected speakers gave basic facts and information of each country.

Parlor games for the ASEAN Heads of Mission and community members, including the children, were also held. The community members were grouped by random to avoid competition by country, with the exception of the tug-of-war. The latter was an all-woman event which the team Philippines won.

ASEAN embassies’ national dishes were served at lunch, while an Indonesian live band and karaoke singing played on.

Sports such as lawn tennis, badminton, table tennis and darts were also played. Among the winners were Mr. Roger Gonzales, Administrative Officer of the Philippine Embassy, for lawn tennis doubles; and Mrs. Nerrisa Villeges, wife of Mr. Rodney Villages, Finance Officer of the Philippine Embassy, for table tennis doubles.

The whole day event was held at the residence of H.E Budi Bowoleksono, the Indonesian Ambassador and this year’s chairman of the ASEAN diplomatic missions in Nairobi, Kenya. The ASEAN embassies in Nairobi are those of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. END


Posted: 25 Aug 2009 11:26 PM PDT

PR-666-09, 26 August 2009 – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reminded Filipino overseas to register for the May 2010 Presidential elections as the deadline for the registration for overseas absentee voters nears.

Filipinos have until August 31, Monday, to register as overseas absentee voters.

The DFA-Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat (DFA-OAVS) disclosed that as of August 26, the number of new overseas absentee voter (OAV) registrants reached 200,637.

According to DFA Undersecretary for Special and Ocean Concers Rafael E. Seguis, who also sits as OAVS chairman, “this number is still expected to increase during the remaining five days of the 2009 OAV registration which will end on 31 August 2009.”

There was a total of 361,457 Filipinos registered as overseas absentee voters in 2003 and 142,667 in the 2005-2006 OAV registration, bringing the total to 504,124.

Of this number, the names of 132,820 voters were deleted from the National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters (NROAV) of the COMELEC for failure to vote in 2004 and 2007 elections.

With the balance of 371,304 OAVoters and the 200,637 new OAV registrants, there are as of August 26 a total of 571,941 overseas Filipinos eligible to vote in the May 2010 national (presidential) elections.

Undersecretary Seguis said that in a close presidential, vice-presidential, senatorial and party-list races, this figure can easily become either a swing vote or a deciding vote, especially if the influence of these registered overseas absentee voters on their families and friends in the Philippines is also considered.

As of August 26, the top ten Philippine Embassies and Consulates General which registered the highest number of voters are:

1. Hong Kong 19,691
2. Los Angeles 11,981
3. Dubai 11,219
4. Singapore 9,921
5. Riyadh 6,120
6. New York 5,687
7. London 5,478
8. Tokyo 4,913
9. Toronto 4,734
10. Jeddah 4,392

Closely following these Posts are:

11. Washington DC 4,016
12. Abu Dhabi 3,945
13. Chicago 3,717
14. Brunei 3,661
15. Kuwait 3,252

Another 8,464 overseas Filipinos registered at the Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (MECOs) in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung. Of the newly-opened Philippine Embassies and Consulates General, the Philippine Consulate General in Barcelona, Spain registered 1,998, followed by the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Norway with 1,051.

In line with COMELEC’s and DFA’s proactive efforts to register more overseas Filipinos for the upcoming elections, the OAVS sent letters of appeal to approximately 1,500 Filipino Community organizations around the world. It has also promoted the OAV registration with the media in the Philippines and various fora organized by civil society and non-governmental organizations.

Together with COMELEC-COAV, OAVS entered into a Memoranda of Agreement with NAIA, POEA, CFO and OWWA to establish an OAV registration center at the said agencies/offices.

Philippine Embassies and Consulates organized more field (COMELEC-funded) and mobile (OAVS-funded) OAV registrations. As a result, field/mobile registrations were conducted in over 234 sites/venues worldwide.

For the rest of August, field/mobile registrations will be conducted in Australia (Perth), California (Long Beach and San Diego), Korea (Kyonggido), Saudi Arabia (Buraidah) and United Kingdom (London). The Los Angeles Consulate is also scheduled to conduct “Akyat Barko” registrations on board three ships.

Undersecrery Seguis added that during the 2009 OAV registration, the DFA-OAVS gave the following additional instructions to all Philippine Embassies, Consulates General, and offices abroad:

• Instructed all Posts to register all personnel and all dependents of all personnel;
• Instructed all Posts to coordinate with all FilCom organizations overseas (e.g. attend their activities, etc.);
• Instructed all Posts to promote OAV registration in FilCom and mainstream media within their respective jurisdictions;
• Instructed all Posts to organize or reactivate “One Country Team” for OAV registration, seeking the cooperation, assistance and support of all Embassy or Consulate-attached agencies (DOLE, OWWA, DTI, DOT, DND, Pag-lbig, SSS, etc.); and
• Instructed all Posts to conduct “Akyat Barko” registration (where appropriate and feasible) to register Filipino seafarers. END


Posted: 25 Aug 2009 08:52 PM PDT

PH-134-09, 26 August 2009 – The Philippine Consulate in Dubai reported to the Department of Affairs on the successful conduct of its special Overseas Absentee Voter registration activity for the Maranao Community in the United Arab Emirates.

Led by Vice Consul Edwin Gil Mendoza, the OAV team held the special OAV registration activity in Dubai and Sharjah last August 20 and netted 100 new OAV registrants. END


Posted: 25 Aug 2009 07:03 PM PDT



Posted: 25 Aug 2009 06:52 PM PDT

PH-132-09, 26 August 2009 – Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Alexander B. Yano reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Filipino Team Babes Boutique won the championship of the Brunei Pepsi Cup Basketball Tournament on 23 August 2009 at the Batu Bersurat, Gadong in Brunei.

The tournament, organized by Brunei Basketball Association, was attended by Ambassador Yano as VIP guest, together with Pengiran Sabri bin Pg Haji Mohammad, the acting Director of Youth and Sports and the guest of honor at the closing ceremony.

Aside from Pinoys champions, two talented Filipino singers – Mr. Bobby Boac from the Philippine Embassy and Ms. Ratchel Gomez from the Filipino community – rendered song numbers that impressed the crowd.

A total of 20 teams, of which eight consisted of Filipino players, competed in the tournament held on 18 July-23 August 2009. Three Filipino teams vied for the championship in the finals. Babes Boutique team routed Linkteck with the score of 94-79. END


Posted: 25 Aug 2009 06:35 PM PDT

PH-131-09, 26 August 2009 – Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Maria Theresa P. Lazaro met with Geneva Mayor Mr. Rémy Pagani in a meeting held at the Palais Eynard in Geneva.

During the discussions, Ambassador Lazaro noted that Geneva is among the cities in Switzerland which has a marker honoring Dr. Jose P. Rizal when he visited several cities of Switzerland in June 1887, on his way back to the Philippines.

The marker of Dr. Jose Rizal is situated at the second floor of the Lloyds Bank Building along Rue de Rhone, one of Geneva’s busiest streets. It was requested that the marker be placed at “eye level” of the passing pedestrians. The Mayor of Geneva agreed to the proposal and committed to an inauguration which will be held after the marker has been transferred.

Geneva is the second most heavily populated city in Switzerland, after Zurich. Aside from museums and art galleries, Geneva is host to the various international organizations including the World Trade Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations, among others.

The markers honoring Dr. Jose Rizal can be found in Schauffhausen and Bern, the capital of Switzerland. END


Posted: 25 Aug 2009 06:25 PM PDT

PR-665-09, 26 August 2009 – The Philippine team won 24 golds and broke new records in powerlifting, swimming and athletics during the 5th ASEAN Para Games held in Kuala Lumpur on 15-19 August 2009.

The Philippines tallied 24 golds, 24 silvers, and 26 bronzes during the games. The Philippine team won gold medals in the swimming, athletics, powerlifting, table tennis and chess events. It garnered silver medals in sailing and bronze medals in the wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis events.

“Our team’s performance this year was such a big improvement compared to the previous games hosted by Thailand in 2007 where we only won 17 gold medals; and this happened despite a reduction in the size of the delegation from 112 in Thailand to only 86 this year,” Team Manager Octavio Gonzales said.

Powerlifter Adelyn Dumapon set a new games record. In swimming, Ernie Gawilan bagged three golds while breaking new records; Bea Riza Roble with 2 golds set two new records; and Arnel Aba with two Golds and broke one record.

In athletics, Marites Burce set two new records in discus and shotput; Jerrold Pete Manghiwan in the 100 and 400 meters events; Prudencia Panaligan in the 100 meters event; Joel Balatucan and Juanito Mingarene in shotput; and Anne Grace Aberto in the 200 meters event.

The Filipino Athletes were escorted by Mr. Michael I. Barredo (President of the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled), former Olympic swimmer Akiko Thompson (Commissioner at the Philippine Sports Commission), Mr. Carlos P. Weber Jr., and Mr. Gerardo A. Rosario who served as the team’s chef de mission.

The ASEAN Para Games, which is patterned after the Paralympics, is a multi-sport event held every two years for Southeast Asian athletes with physical disabilities. Malaysia hosted the Inaugural Games in 2001, while Indonesia is set to be the host of the 6th ASEAN Para Games in 2011.

Thailand placed first over-all, Malaysia second, and Vietnam third at the conclusion of the Games. END



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August 2009
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    On this day in 2003, the United States, along with coalition forces primarily from the United Kingdom, initiates war on Iraq. Just after explosions began to rock Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, U.S. President George W. Bush announced in a televised address, “At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Ira […]




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