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MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will close 10 of its diplomatic posts due to budgetary constraints.
Those that will stop operations are Philippine embassies in: Koror, Palau; Caracas, Venezuela; Dublin, Ireland; Stockholm, Sweden; Havana, Cuba; Bucharest, Romania; and Helsinki, Finland,
Consulates general in Barcelona, Spain; Frankfurt, Germany; and Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will also be closed.
Consular services in the affected embassy or consulate general shall be available to the public up to the last day of their operations, after which the honorary consuls or nearby embassies and consulates will take over, according to the DFA.
The DFA has informed the host governments of the 10 embassies and consulates general as well as their missions in Manila of the closures. The Filipino communities, under the jurisdiction of the said embassies and consulates, were also informed of the closures.
The Philippines currently has 94 embassies and consulates worldwide. The closure of the 10 foreign posts is part of the rationalization program of the DFA's resources.
“The DFA would like to rationalize and effectively use its limited sources to be of better service to Filipinos overseas and to the country as a whole,” DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez said.
He said the shutdown of these Philippine missions was primarily due to the need to maximize resources and augment embassies and consulates where there are more Filipinos, especially in the Middle East.
Other considerations include potentials for trade, investment and tourism in line with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s goal of poverty alleviation and job creation and his directive for a lean and efficient bureaucracy.