Amidst Philippine National Day celebrations, the Philippine Embassy in Brasilia hosted a Retooling Program for Honorary Consuls General of the Philippines in Brazil on 13-14 June 2018.
Consuls General a.h. Francisco Rodrigues da Silva Filho (Manaus), Sergio Kano (Recife), Somchai Ansuj (Porto Alegre), Celso Pimentel (Vitória) and Mr. Gustavo Ishitani, representing his mother, Consul General a.h. Keiko Ishitani (Curitiba), attended the program. All were also on hand during the Embassy’s diplomatic reception in honour of the 120th Anniversary of Philippine Independence last 12 June 2018 at Clube do Exército.
The objective of the retooling program was to equip the Honorary Consuls General with basic skills in Assistance to Nationals (ATN), consular documentation, and to remind them of their basic functions as representatives of the Philippines in their respective consular districts. A separate module on the correct and timely preparation of fiscal and administrative reports was also included, as it was observed that most Consulates General do not submit these reports.
Updates on the political and economic developments in the Philippines were also included in the topics discussed. Post used the PDEA figures and visual presentations regarding illegal drugs in the Philippines, focusing on what the PH Government has done and continues to do in advancing the campaign on illegal drugs and related crimes.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Marichu Mauro reminded all the Honorary Consuls General of their solemn duty to the Philippines and the Filipino people in their respective consular districts.
“Most especially during cases of great urgency, you are called upon to render official service to any Filipino in need, day or night even outside of official hours. Refusing service to any Filipino citizen is a grave violation of your oath as Honorary Consul General of the Philippines,” Ambassador Mauro reiterated during her welcome remarks.
The Consuls General expressed their deep appreciation to the Embassy for the initiative, remarking that it was the first time that such a retooling program took place. In particular, Consul General a.h. Francisco Rodrigues da Silva Filho, the most senior Consul General having served a total of 28 years, remarked that it was the first time he was told exactly what was expected of him as an honorary Consul General.
With the Retooling Program, the Philippine Embassy hopes that the Honorary Consuls General will now be able to render efficient and timely service to Filipinos in their respective consular districts. In a country as vast as Brazil, having access to a nearby Consulate is essential for Filipinos working in the country.