Legarda: PHL Embassy in Berlin Opens New Chancery, More Programs Ahead

February 20, 2019

Senator Loren Legarda said she looks forward to the implementation of more programs in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy in Berlin, Germany especially with the opening of its new chancery.

In a speech read by Chargé d’ Affaires Lillibeth Pono during the inauguration of the new chancery of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin, Legarda said she is happy to be able to support the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) by ensuring that its needs and programs are funded under the national budget.

“As Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Finance, the needs and concerns of the DFA and foreign service posts have been brought to my attention. We have already reopened the consular office in Frankfurt recently, and now, we have a new chancery in Berlin. But our efforts go beyond the needs of our posts. We have also initiated programs that would benefit our country and strengthen our diplomatic ties with Germany,” said Legarda.

The Senator shared that it was Ambassador Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek, during her time as Philippine Ambassador to Germany, who told her that a new chancery was needed.

“I did not think twice as I wanted to give my full support to our posts. We must ensure that not only our diplomats and foreign service workers are dignified but also our chanceries look dignified because these are representations of our nation,” said Legarda.

“Meanwhile, the Consulate General in Frankfurt is a must. Frankfurt is a banking and commerce hub and is home to approximately 15,000 Filipinos and Filipino-Germans,” she added.

Legarda said that aside from these developments, there are many other programs in collaboration with the Embassy in Berlin and Consulate General in Frankfurt.

Since 2016, Legarda ensured the participation of the Philippines through a country pavilion at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair. There is also funding for tourism promotion activities of the Department of Tourism office in Frankfurt; while recently, the Philippines participated in Ambiente 2019, the leading international consumer goods trade fair.

“We have brought the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Travelling Exhibition in Frankfurt last year. Soon, we will also have a Sentro Rizal at the Consulate General in Frankfurt,” Legarda said.

Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Travelling Exhibition is a showcase of our handwoven and embroidered piña-seda fabrics. It is a project of Legarda with the National Museum; while Sentro Rizal is a repository of various materials relating to the promotion of Philippine history, arts, culture, language and tourism.  One of its main goals is to provide a place where children of overseas Filipino workers can learn about their heritage through cultural programs and activities.

“I am also looking forward to the exhibition of the Dr. Jose Rizal textile collection in the Philippines in 2020. It was in 2013 when I discovered the collection at the Berlin Ethnological Museum and since then I have been working on bringing it to the Philippines for an exhibit,” Legarda explained.

The textile collection had been donated by Rizal to his friend, Dr. Adolf Bastian, a German ethnologist and founder of the Berlin Ethnological Museum, and Mr. Rudolf Virchow, a German prehistorian and anthropologist. Among the items are handwoven textiles like piña barong and shawl, a Bagobo attire, a Mandaya baby carrier, and a Tboli abaca wrap skirt.

Legarda said that other programs for this year include the Philippine Studies in Humboldt University and in Ruhr University. There is also funding for a football clinic to be done by a renowned German team who will do the training in the Philippines.

“With the inauguration of the new chancery of our Philippine Embassy in Germany, we hope for more good things to come between the two nations. This is just the beginning of many more programs that will foster deeper ties,” Legarda concluded.