BAGUIO CITY, Philippines -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) opened its regional consular office in the Cordillera Administrative Region on Monday, 22 years after the region was created.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Domingo Lucenario said the DFA opened the regional consulate at the Monsylito Building along Legarda Road here due to a growing demand from migrant workers based in the region.
The consular office will start serving clients on July 20, he said.
The Cordillera was promised an office from every government agency, including the DFA, by Executive Order 220 in 1987 by then President Corazon Aquino. EO 220 paved the way for the creation of CAR, one of the two regional governments granted autonomy by the 1987 Constitution.
Lucenario said DFA could not immediately establish a consular office in the region because of budget constraints and was only able to open its Baguio office in 2009 at the prodding of Cordillera representatives.
Baguio City Representative Mauricio Domogan promised to introduce a budget for the new office in the next General Appropriations Act (GAA), Lucenario said.
The high number of students in the city also became a factor for the opening of the DFA office, he said.
"There are many students who graduate here, and who seek employment abroad," said Lucenario.
He said the consulate would be fully staffed and would handle all DFA services,
including the issuance of passports and the provision of legal services to migrant workers and their relatives, he said.