10 embassies, consulates to be closed this year
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said 10 foreign service posts will be closed down this year, amid growing opposition from overseas Filipino communities.
According to Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez, the 10 embassies and consulates to be shuttered are:
- Koror, Palau
- Caracas, Venezuela
- Barcelona, Spain
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Dublin, Ireland
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Havana, Cuba
- Bucharest, Romania
- Helsinki, Finland
In an interview on ANC's Dateline Philippines, Hernandez said budgetary constraints forced the government to order the closing of these diplomatic posts.
Another factor is the country's strong labor laws that will protect the migrant Filipino workers, even with the closure of the Philippine post.
"The reason why we have closed down 10 foreign service posts is mainly due to budgetary constraints. We will devote our scarce resources to where we can achieve greater impact on our national interests. We will realign our limited funds to posts where there are more distressed OFWs, who come to us for help, like in Middle East," he said.
Despite protests from the Filipino communities that will be affected by the posts' closures, Hernandez assured several honorary consul, who will help the OFWs, will be appointed.
"We don't like to close any embassy or consulate for that matter but the fact is we have limited budget and we have to use our scarce resources to where we can maximize these. The nearest consulate will assume the diplomatic and consular duties of those that will be closed," he said. - With ANC