DFA will establish consular office in General Santos City soon

Oct. 21, 2008

Cotabato City-The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will open its consular office in General Santos City before the year ends.

This was confirmed by Moises Ocampo, head of the regional consular offices coordinating center (RCCOC), DFA the positive development on the establishment of the consular office in General Santos City now that the site and building are now available.

Ocampo said General Santos mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr, offered the site and building which needs minimal renovation and refurbishment. In line with the fiscal management of our office, expenditures must be within the allocation of 11 million pesos for each consular office to be established, the RCCOC staff officer disclosed.

It was learned from the same DFA official that Daniel Te, administrative officer of the Davao City consular office and who is being groomed to head also the consular office in General Santos City. This new office will serve as the DFA center of Socsksargen.

When asked about the Cotabato City consular office which will cover the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Ocampo said, this will also be set up before the end of the year since there is already a budget allocation. The same process of canvassing sites and buildings and other requirements will be observed, he further said. We have manpower constraints but as soon as this will be threshed out, personnel will be sent to lay down the ground works in Cotabato City, Ocampo added.

The General Santos City and Cotabato City consular offices are two of the six DFA offices ordered by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to be opened through the issuance of executive order no. 748. The other four are in Bacolod City to cover region six, Butuan City to cover region thirteen; Puerto Princesa to cover region six B; Baguio City to cover the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Executive order no. 748 mandates the regional consular offices to process and issue passports and to extend various consular services to Filipinos and non-residents alike, pursuant to the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (RA 8042) as well as Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. (RICC Cotabato City)

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