The Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes is hoping that orders from Manila will come in for the Filipino diplomatic staff to move to bigger consular premises.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7, the Consul General feels that a bigger and spacious diplomatic area is needed now to house the proposed Department for Overseas Filipinos (DOF).
The new DOF is a proposal put forth by Philippines new President elect Rodrigo Duterte to take care of the growing consular requirements of the community.
Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes
“As ten per cent of our population is outside the country, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are at the forefront of any administrative decisions. The new President’s foreign policy will be an extension of his domestic policy.
“Now we have a Department of Foreign Affairs and various other departments dealing with labour and welfare activities for the community,” Cortes said, adding: “ I believe the proposed DOF will look into the totality of OFWs’ issues.
Space is the key issue for the Philippines consulate, situated in Al Qusais, now.
“We are on lease for three years. The two villas that we have leased constitute the entire Consular premises. As more and more people come over, the office space that caters to them needs to be bigger, to provide better service.”
“We would always welcome a bigger and better place in a commercial area. On any regular day from 8am to 5pm, this whole place is quite jammed with people and vehicles,” Cortes said.
“It is for the new President to decide whether the new DOF will be housed where we are now or in new premises.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Overseas Labour Office and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (under the Department of Labour and Employment) all operate from the same villa premises now.
On May 16 Rodrigo Duterte said in Manila that he will create a separate department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) which will be housed in the Post Office building in Manila.