DFA holds command conference for PH diplomats in Asia

MANILA -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday assured its embassies and consulates abroad that they will continue to receive support and resources for them to effectively assist all Filipinos in their respective jurisdictions.

The department said the agenda discussed in the two-day command conference for Philippine diplomats that began Thursday included migration, security, extremism and terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region.

The envoys were briefed on passport and consular-related issues, the implementation of new rules on the Assistance to Nationals and Legal Assistance Funds for Overseas Filipinos, and maximizing the use of social media in advancing Philippine interests in the region, among others.

With the holding of this Command Conference, all our heads of posts now know the direction we're headed on how we would want our embassies and consulates to more effectively serve our kababayans abroad, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said.

In his remarks, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano emphasized the need for Philippine foreign service posts to continue improving the delivery of consular services and in extending assistance to nationals in distress abroad.

This, he said, is in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's directive to ensure that all government agencies are able to provide quick, efficient and enhanced services to Filipinos all over the world.

The President expects us to look after the needs of our people and we will do just that," he told some 30 ambassadors and consuls general in his closing remarks at the conference in Taguig.

We would like to assure our embassies and consulates abroad that they shall have all the support and resources they need to allow them to serve our people quicker and better," he added.

The DFA said the command conference is the latest of several regional consultations organized by the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs to update Filipino diplomats on the efforts to protect the rights and promote the welfare of Filipinos abroad.

A similar regional conference was conducted in Milan for Middle East, African, and European posts in January. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency