Legarda: New DFA posts will strengthen PH foreign relations; urges DFA to include climate action as pillar of foreign policy

October 10, 2019

Rome, Italy — Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, former Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, today stressed the importance of strengthening Philippine foreign relations in a highly dynamic community of nations and international players, and one of the means to achieve this is to establish presence of the Philippines in other parts of the world.

Underscoring the importance of the Philippine government’s presence abroad, Legarda announced the opening of new posts of the Department of Foreign Affairs, saying that “this is important not only to project a stronger image in the international community, facilitate trade, cultural and diplomatic relations, but this will also help cater to the needs of our kababayan.”

“These are the reasons why, when I was the Chair of Senate Committee on Finance, I sponsored the amendments to the DFA budget thus allocating funds for the opening of new posts. I wanted to ensure that these needs and the operational requirements are funded accordingly. Under the 2018 budget, we opened consulates in Frankfurt, Germany and Houston, Texas and an embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark,” Legarda said.

Under the 2019 budget, Legarda also provided funds for six (6) additional posts to be opened. Two (2) embassies will be situated in Stockholm, Sweden and Rabat, Morocco, while four (4) consulates will be opened in Barcelona, Spain; Nagoya, Japan; Melbourne Australia, and Istanbul, Turkey.

“With the opening of additional foreign posts in these countries, we hope for more good things to come between our country and theirs. May this be the beginning of many more programs and partnership that will foster deeper ties and protect the welfare of Filipinos abroad,” Legarda said.

Legarda made the statement coinciding with the Global Conference of Heads of Posts (GCHOPs) being held in Makati, Philippines from October 7 to 11, 2019 and attended by Heads of Philippine Foreign Service Posts.

“I also commend the DFA and the heads of posts as they attend to their annual week-long conference and I am hoping that the discussions will not only highlight our traditional foreign policy priorities and objectives. It is also high time that we as a nation include climate action as one of the pillars of our foreign policy to address encompassing and complex issues we face related to climate change,” Legarda concluded.***