Philippines close embassies and consulates
Tourists and Filipinos abroad are upset. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) informed that 10 foreign service posts will be closed down this year.
The 10 embassies and consulates to be shuttered are:
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez said:
“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”.
The Barcelona consulate caters to mostly Filipino seafarers whose ships dock at major ports in Spain’s Catalonia region like Barcelona and Tarragona. The closure of the Barcelona consulate would mean that these seafarers would now be unable to avail of consular services at their usual docking and instead be forced to seek out the Philippine embassy in Madrid, Spain, almost 600 kilometers away.
Germany’s tourists and OFWs living in southern Germany have now to travel Berlin. This means traveling up to 600 kilometers and spend hundreds of Euros more.