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Department of Foreign Affairs- updates

RP Embassy in Athens Conducts Consular Outreach at Thessaloniki, Crete, Cyprus and Corfu

Posted: 04 Sep 2009 01:00 AM PDT

PR-701-09, 4 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Athens conducted consular outreach and overseas absentee voting (OAV) registration at Corfu, Cyprus, Crete, and Thessaloniki in May, July, and August 2009.

The consular outreach in Corfu was held at the Catholic Hall of the Filipinos in Corfu on May 23-25. The team comprised of personnel from the Embassy and Pag-Ibig attached agency. The team was assisted by Filipino leaders in Corfu namely, Rosita Habon, Ethelyn Alcantara, and Florence Okundaye.

The team processed 59 MRP applications and processed 27 applications for OAV. Around 100 Filipinos reside in Corfu.

Philippine Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Fe T. Pangilinan also inducted the new officers of the Filipino association Unity Group in Corfu.

On 11-12 July, Embassy representatives conducted a two-day outreach mission in Nicosia, Cyprus.

A total of 102 Filipinos in Nicosia registered as overseas absentee voters at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Nicosia.. The team processed 58 MRP applications in the adjoining office of the Philippine honorary consul.

About 2,000 Filipinos are reported to be residing in Nicosia.
Subsequently, on 17-19 July in Crete, the embassy team was assisted by Mr. Johnny Quinto, president of the Filipino Club in Iraklion, Crete. The outreach activity was conducted at the social hall of St. John the Baptist Church.

The team processed 60 MRP applications, 60 OAV applications, and 14 certifications for registered voters in the Philippines. About 200 Filipinos reside in Crete Island.

The outreach mission in Larnaca and Limassol, Cyprus was coordinated through Mr. Bong Cusi, one of the leaders of the Filipino community at Larnaca. The activity took place in the premises of the Sta. Tierra Church in Larnaca.

The team was assisted by Ms. Gina Maandig, from the office of the Philippine honorary consul at Nicosia, and by Ms. Liza Jataas who is Pag-Ibig’s and OWWA’s volunteer at Larnacra.

At Limassol, RCBC’s general manger Belinda Stylianou and Ms. Ching Tabasa-Harris assisted and coordinated the Embassy’s activities.

The team processed 49 machine readable passport applications, four replacements or lost passports, four notarials, and four passport verifications. A total of 197 registered for OAV, 35 applications for certification of registration and 8 applications for transfer of registration records were processed.

Some 1,500 Filipinos reside in Larnaca and 2,500 in Limassol.

In coordination with the Philippine Honorary Consul at Thessaloniki Nikolaos K. Margaropoulos, and Ms. Violet Magnaye, a Filipino community leader, the Embassy dispatched a consular outreach and OAV team to Greece’s second major city on August 29-31.

The team, which included personnel from the Embassy’s attached agencies OWWA and Pag-Ibig, was met at Thessaloniki by Mr. Margaropoulos. The services were conducted at the social hall of the Immaculate Conception Church.

The outreach resulted in 80 applications for OWWA membership and 70 applications/inquiries on Pag-Ibig membership. 37 overseas Filipinos registered for the absentee voting, and 47 certifications issued for voters in the Philippines.

About 400 Filipinos reside in the center of Thessaloniki. END

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RP Consulate General in Sydney Conducts Consular Mission to New Caledonia

Posted: 03 Sep 2009 11:47 PM PDT

PR-700-09, 4 September 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in Sydney conducted a consular mission to New Caledonia on August 21-24 to provide consular services and to register Filipino overseas absentee voters (OAV) residing in the area.

New Caledonia is an island territory of France, located 2,000 kilometers east of the coast of Queensland. The island has an area of 18,575 square kilometers and a population of about 245,000.

There is a small community of French-Filipinos in the capital city of Nouméa and an additional 620 Filipino expatriate workers in the Goro Nickel Project in Yate.

Consul General Eva G. Betita, who led the consular delegation, said that the mission was successful. “We were able to register a good number of the remaining Filipinos who were not included in the previous OAV registration period, which was held in 2006,” she said.

In addition, there were many Filipinos who renewed their Philippine passports, as well as a number of former Filipinos who reacquired their Philippine citizenship.

The mission had a fact-finding component to assess the situation of the Filipinos in the territory. “There are about 50 French-Filipinos in Nouméa, who arrived here in the 1980s and early 1990s. They are professionals and are well-integrated into New Caledonia society and are respected in their areas,” the Consul General said.

There are about 620 expatriates employed in the French Government-funded Goro Nickel Project.. Consul General Betita said these Filipino workers are well-treated and well-paid. They are housed in a facility which provides proper housing and recreational and leisure amenities.

She added that they are the remaining OFWs of the 3,000 Filipino work force who constructed the project. However, the construction is almost completed and most of the work force have gone home to the Philippines. Those who remain are involved in the commissioning of the facility. END

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RP Consulate General in Milan Sends Consular Team to Bologna

Posted: 03 Sep 2009 11:36 PM PDT

PR-699-09, 4 September 2009 – In line with its thrust to reach out to Filipinos within its jurisdiction, the Philippine Consulate General in Milan organized a mobile consular mission to Bologna last August 20..

The mobile team also conducted Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) registration, a day before the deadline.

Consul General Antonio A. Morales headed the mobile team which rendered services to around 500 Filipinos in Bologna and nearby cities. The team processed 212 passport applications, notarized 79 documents, issued 34 certifications, and registered 73 qualified Overseas Absentee Voting Applicants.

The consular team coordinated with the Federation of Filipinos in Bologna, headed by its President Jose Avenido, which assisted in organizing the consular mission.

Aside from rendering consular services, Consul General Morales took the opportunity to have a dialogue with the community. Representatives of the Filipino community, in response, conveyed their request for regular consular missions to Bologna.

There was also a request to look into the possibility of establishing an honorary consulate general in the City not only to make consular services available, but also to promote trade and investments.

The consular mission was the second in Bologna this year. The first one was held on 8 March 2009. In addition, the Consulate General also conducted field OAV registration in Bologna on 14 June 2009.

Bologna, situated approximately 250 kilometers from Milan, is one of the biggest cities in the region of Emilia Romagna.

There are over 5,000 Filipinos in Bologna which is considered a university-city as well as Italy’s industrial heartland, with its heavy concentration of factories. The employment opportunities in Bologna may explain the relatively large number of migrants, both from Southern Italy and overseas, particularly non-European Union nationals. END

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Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer to visit the Philippines

Posted: 03 Sep 2009 11:15 PM PDT

PR-698-09, 4 September 2009 – H.E. Jan Fischer, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, will make an official visit to the Philippines on September 6-7, upon the invitation of H.E President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo..

Prime Minister Fischer will pay a courtesy call on President Arroyo on September 7, Monday, which will be followed by a bilateral meeting between the two leaders and their delegation members to further expand political cooperation, boost trade and economic ties, and deepen cultural and people-to-people relations.

H.E. Jan Fischer earlier visited the Philippines in October 2007 when he attended the International Statistical Conference in Manila as Chairman of the Czech Statistics Office.

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Czech Republic were established through the signing of a joint communiqué with the former Czechoslovakia on 5 October 1973.

Philippine-Czech historical links can be traced from the deep friendship between Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, and Czech scholar Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt, who are the earliest symbols of the two countries’ shared values of freedom and respect for individual liberties.

Bilateral trade between the Philippines and the Czech Republic amounted to US$151 million in 2008. Philippine exports to the Czech Republic are mainly special electronics components, garments, furniture, tropical fruits and agricultural products.

The Czech Republic provides Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines through the projects, “Assistance in Measures Ensuring Drinking Water Supply for Manila” worth €1,300,000 and the “Improvement of Waste Management in Naga City” worth €390,000.

An endearing symbol of the vibrancy of Philippine-Czech economic relations is the 73 Czech-made air-conditioned train coaches used for the EDSA-MRT tracks. END

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Ambassador Davide Named Co-Chair of UNGA Ad Hoc Working Group

Posted: 03 Sep 2009 05:33 PM PDT

PR-697-09, 4 September 2009 – Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hilario G. Davide, Jr. added another feather to his cap with his appointment as co-chair of an ad hoc working group of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)..

The Philippine Mission to the United Nations said Ambassador Davide was named Co-Chair of the “General Assembly Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole to Recommend a Course of Action on the Process of Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socio-Economic Aspects.”

The appointment was made on August 21 by former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Angel d’ Escoto Brockman, President of the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He also named Ambassador Gunnar Palsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations, as Co-Chair.

Ambassador Davide’s appointment came a few weeks after he was elected Vice Chair of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Peace and Security) of the 64th Session of the General Assembly. He was also elected as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Sustainable Development, an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc).

Ambassadors Davide and Palsson will discuss what will be the appropriate course of action to the 64th Session of the General Assembly on the regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects under Resolution 63/111.

The course of action to be recommended will be based on the outcomes of the fourth meeting of an ad hoc steering group that was established to oversee efforts to strengthen the regular scientific assessment of the state of the marine environment in order to enhance the scientific basis for policymaking.

This is not the first time that Ambassador Davide was entrusted with such a responsibility. In 2007, he was appointed by the President of the 61st Session of the General Assembly as facilitator in negotiations for a draft declaration that would improve the lives of over 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide.

Ambassador Davide also previously occupied the position of Vice Chair of the Ecosoc, where he served as Chair of its Coordination Segment, which coordinates the activities of the various functional commissions under its jurisdiction. The Coordination Segment is in charge of leading the negotiations with the Bretton Woods Institutions, the UN Conference on Trade Development and the World Trade Organization. END

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