Saturday, 10 December 2016 Brussels Belgium

Anniversary Celebration of Friendship for PHL
Monday, 26 September 2016 13:00    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail


Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General Alan L. Deniega, currently Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. of the Philippine Embassy to Belgium and Luxembourg attended the 14 years anniversary celebration of Vriendschap voor de Filippijnen/Friendship for the Philippines at Knokke-Heist on 25 September 2016 and expressed his appreciation for the continuing friendship and collaboration that the organization and its collaborators are extending to the Philippines.

Referring to recent developments in the Philippines, CDA Deniega also appealed to the audience, composed mostly of Belgians married to Filipino citizens, to understand the  context and 'stories' of news and/or pronouncements from the Philippines, before reacting or rendering their opinion.  He stressed that the Philippines is appreciative of the long years of support and cooperation that it gains from the Belgians and hopes that it shall continue to be such, through the years.

Vriendschap voor de Filippijnen/Friendship for the Philippines is headed by Mr. Dominiek Segaert, a Kaanib ng Bayan recipient of the 2014 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas.

EU Statement on the Davao Bombing
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 08:37    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail


The European Union stands in solidarity with the people and the Government of the Philippines following yesterday evening's bomb attack in the city of Davao.

Our sincere condolences go to the families and friends of those who were killed, and we wish a quick recovery to those who were injured.

Tackling terrorism, in any form and in any country, is a priority for the European Union. The international community is working together to counter this global threat, and we stand by the authorities in the Philippines in their efforts to provide stability and security for their citizens against this threat.

SFA's Remarks at the 2nd Manila Conference on SCS
Monday, 08 August 2016 13:20    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail

Foreign Service Institute Director-General Claro Cristobal,
Distinguished Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen.


In a thriving democracy like the Philippines, policy discourse plays a key role. We discuss and debate the many issues that impact on the life of our nation and the lives of more than 100 million Filipinos.


As a democracy, we work hard to keep our channels of communication open, and our engagements are -- more positively interactive to engender mutually enriching encounters. Debates will be more informed and verbal engagements more enriching if all parties have access to essential information on governance and on the government.


The right information is an important staple for divergence or convergence of ideas - assuring of good content in a spirited idea exchange. Otherwise, our discussion will be, as Shakespeare put it, simply "sound and fury signifying nothing."


Policy Discourse and Freedom of Information


Barely a month into our new government, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 2 implementing the freedom of information (FOI).


No doubt, this will support our policy dialogue which must be characterized by depth and substance. As it is, our discourse is already driven by the active and critical participation of our people at every possible platform.


The shaping of public policy is a shared process where our people really participate in the shaping of national policy. This is consultation at its best. Our democracy provides us a climate and framework for a market place of ideas, where persuasion is preferred over coercion. For these reasons, the conference's theme, "Managing Tensions, Revisiting Regional Efforts, and Fostering Cooperation," is timely and relevant.


Philippines and Track Two Diplomacy


The Philippines has and will always be committed to Track II diplomacy. The diversity of views in Track II dialogues among non-state actors strengthens our democracy. This market place of ideas will flourish if we are all deeply committed to the rule of law, particularly when persuasion wins the day. Coercion or imposition has no place in this free market of ideas.

In a free exchange of thoughts and views, the body of knowledge possessed by every participant in a dialogue expands and deepens. I have always shared the belief of Justice Wendell Holmes who said, "The mind, stretched to a new idea, will never go back to its original dimension." With this piece of wisdom, I welcome all of you today to the Second Manila Conference on the South China Sea.


The South China Sea (SCS)


The world is closely watching developments in the South China Sea. Given its importance to transnational trade and connectivity, keeping a peaceful and predictable maritime order is an international priority. This is especially true considering that stability is a pre-condition to sustaining the economic growth in both South East Asia and North East Asia.

Asia and the rest of the world will benefit from freedom of navigation and over flight, unimpeded lawful commerce, respect for traditional fishing rights, and the primacy of a rules-based maritime regime in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).




UNCLOS is considered the Constitution of the Oceans. It codifies the fundamental principles governing our seas. It is the duty of every country in the community of nations, as partners under UNCLOS, to ensure that this constitution effectively governs all waters, including the South China Sea.


As we all know, disputes in the South China Sea are not new. Overlapping claims have been made and asserted for decades. They seldom placed regional stability in a precarious situation, until unilateral actions were undertaken beginning in 1995.


Developments in the Region


Since then, the region has endeavored to peacefully manage these disputes. In 2002, ASEAN and China agreed on a Declaration of Conduct (DOC) that promotes self-restraint and the non-use of force or threat of force in the disputed waters, and to commence consultations on a Code of Conduct (COC) that would manage tensions on the ground. In May 2009, China formally articulated its Nine Dash Line claim over almost the entire South China Sea.


To discuss these developments, the First Manila Conference on the South China Sea was convened in 2011. The conference produced meaningful outcomes that are still relevant today. Recommended, among others, were the need for states to think in terms of the regional interest, the need to improve the climate for dialogue through demilitarization of sensitive areas, and the institution of confidence-building measures, and the need for claimant-states to clarify the basis of their claims in accordance with UNCLOS.[1]


Since then, two parallel tracks of development on the ground and on the diplomatic front have occurred.

On the ground, the South China Sea has unfortunately witnessed further unilateral activities, which resulted in irreparable damage to the marine environment, as well as on the livelihood of our fishermen in littoral communities, such as in the province of Zambales, located some 150 kilometers north of Manila.


The Philippines and the SCS


As far as the South China Sea is concerned, the Philippines seeks to maintain peace and stability in the disputed areas. We will continue to uphold the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the framework for the management and settlement of disputes.


The Philippines continues to exert best efforts and to show great flexibility toward the effective implementation of the ASEAN - China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. We continue to urge parties concerned to do the same.


Also, all parties need to work expeditiously towards the establishment of an effective code of conduct (COC), and undertake activities that are in good faith and consistent with international law with the aim of advancing, and not delaying, the process. The Philippines wants to see the early adoption of the COC.


With this goal in mind, the Philippines has actively participated in various ASEAN-China mechanisms, include the hosting of the 16th ASEAN-China Joint Working Group on the Implementation of the DOC held last March 2016 in Manila.


ASEAN's Actions on the SCS


Turning to ASEAN, in its Vision 2025, ASEAN has committed to enhance maritime security and maritime cooperation for peace and stability in the region and beyond, through ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms, and to adopt internationally accepted maritime convention and principles.


In the recent 49th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting held last week in Vientiane, the Philippines articulated that disputes, particularly those relating to the South China Sea, can best be resolved among all the parties concerned in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the United Nations Charter.


ASEAN Foreign Ministers agreed to the principle of "full respect for legal and diplomatic processes." Now, as a recognized fundamental ASEAN norm, the principle supports a rules-based approach to peaceful resolution of disputes in the region in accordance with international law. This truly is a triumph not just for the Philippines, but also for the entire ASEAN as it underscores ASEAN's solidarity, centrality and unity on this approach.


Other Developments


We have also seen other positive signs on the diplomatic front. Maritime security is at the heart of our efforts towards establishing a rules-based security architecture in the region.


We all understand the importance of addressing maritime challenges, not just on disputes on territory and on maritime entitlements but also on other equally pressing concerns of illegal and unregulated fishing, marine environmental degradation, and piracy.


In 2015, the East Asia Summit (EAS) declared that a maritime regime based on international law, including UNCLOS, that sets out a legal order for the peaceful use of the seas and oceans, including freedom of navigation and over flight and other lawful uses of the seas related to these freedoms, is important for the region's continued economic growth.


The Philippines, together with Japan and the United States, has also been leading the work of the ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security. There is also the expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum, which includes ASEAN plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.


This renewed regional focus on maritime security has captured the interest even from outside the region. The Foreign Ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) issued stand-alone statements on maritime security in 2015 and 2016, which were both echoed by the G7 Leaders during their summits in both years.


In the academe, we are seeing an abundance of institutes, research bodies, and new scholarships on maritime issues in the region. We note, for example, the excellent work of the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI).


Post-Arbitral Ruling


Ladies and gentlemen,


The Philippines understands how critical the situation is in the South China Sea. It underscores the need to promote international law as the fulcrum of dispute-management and dispute-resolution. For this reason, we have pursued parallel tracks in our South China Sea policy.


While maintaining our firm commitment to ASEAN-led diplomatic processes to address maritime concerns, we also sought to clarify the maritime entitlements and the extent of the disputes in the South China Sea through the legal process provided for under UNCLOS.


The rule of law, particularly adherence to international law, facilitates a stable and predictable regional and global environment. This benefits every nation, big or small, as it very much levels the playing field as a great equalizer.


With this view, the Philippines filed an arbitration case in January 2013. We sought a firm and clear interpretation of UNCLOS from the Arbitral Tribunal set up by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in accordance with Annex VII of the Convention.

On 12 July 2016, the Tribunal issued its decision on the case. Our experts have studied this Award with the care and thoroughness it deserves, and it is clear that the Philippine case has been vindicated.


The award is final, binding, and now provides a basis for a rules-based approach for resolving disputes in the South China Sea.


Now part of the international jurisprudence related to maritime domain, the Philippines affirms its full respect for this milestone decision. The Award upholds the primacy of UNCLOS and an important contribution to ongoing efforts to peacefully manage and resolve disputes in the South China Sea.


There is wide recognition that the arbitral proceedings the Philippines initiated strengthened the region's security architecture, with an emphasis on the value and primacy of the rule of law.




Ladies and Gentlemen,


The Philippines is ready to engage all relevant stakeholders, especially the claimant-states. We are confident that the Award will help in finding ways forward to resolve the disputes. At the same time, we are also bound by the Philippine Constitution that mandates us to pursue an independent foreign policy with the paramount consideration for national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination; puts premium on amity with all nations; and renounces war as an instrument of national policy.


The Philippines believes that the management of disputes and their eventual resolution requires a climate of trust and confidence, which can only be built if all parties adhere to a set of rules and principles accepted by the international community.

We, thus, recognize the role Track II diplomacy can play to help persuade all parties concerned to fully respect the legal and diplomatic processes founded on a rules-based approach.


You are all our partners in ensuring peace and stability in the region. And as we seek to sustain precious peace and stability, is it important to build on our gains in the past.


And as we peer into the future, we are virtually standing on the shoulders of those who have accomplished much in the past. Our thanks are endless for the diplomats who have hammered out many agreements, so peace is attainable and stability is real.


This is now our time to solidify these gains. This is now a defining moment to leave an imprint on our efforts to hold conflict at bay, to sustain peace, and to nurture cooperation among nations.


As I wish you a productive conference, may I end with quote from an ancient writing which declared: "Come, let us reason together."


Thank you. ***

FILCOM in Belgium briefed on Trafficking in Persons
Monday, 08 August 2016 11:29    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail

In cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Brussels, some pro bono lawyers from the Philippines conducted a lecture on anti-human trafficking laws and regulations of the Philippines before the Filipino community in Belgium on 31 July 2016, a day after the world day against trafficking in persons.  The lawyers also discussed about family and property laws and issues and conducted free legal consultation on the same day after a Sunday mass at the Filipino chaplaincy church.

Atty. Pingki Bernabe of the International Pro Bono Alliance (IPBA) emphasized the need to be vigilant against the means employed by enterprising traffickers in exploiting Filipinos especially women and minors who are eager to work abroad.  She explained the moment a recruit senses exploitation, he or she must immediately inform authorities especially officers of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).  IBPA, a Bulacan-based organization of pro bono lawyers, has been conducting lectures and free legal aid clinic in other parts of the world including Hongkong, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur and actively networks with foreign pro bono lawyers for the benefit of migrant workers.

Before the lecture and legal aid clinic, Atty. Bernabe and her team met in Brussels Amb. Victoria Bataclan who briefed them on the concerns of Filipinos residing and working in Belgium and Luxembourg. Atty. Bernabe’s team will conduct similar activities in other European cities like Paris, Milan, Vienna, The Hague and Cologne.

President Duterte's 2016 SONA
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 09:30    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail

State of the Nation Address of Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Philippines


To the Congress of the Philippines

Session Hall of the House of Representatives

[Delivered at the Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City on July 25, 2016]

Kindly sit down. Thank you. Allow me a little bit of informality at the outset. You would realize that the three guys in the elevated portion of Congress are from Mindanao. So, wala talaga kaming masabi. [applause]

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, members of the Senate, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and the members of the House of Representatives, Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo, President Fidel V. Ramos, President Joseph Estrada, President Arroyo, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and justices of Supreme Court, His Excellency Papal Nuncio, and members of the diplomatic corps.

We cannot… Well, of course, I have also to greet the Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the members of the Cabinet, fellow workers in government, my countrymen. We cannot move forward if we allow the past to pull us back. Finger-pointing is not the way. That is why I will not waste precious time dwelling on the sins of the past or blaming those who are perceived to be responsible for the mess that we are in and suffering from. Except maybe extract a lesson or two from its errors, we will not tarry because it is the present that we are concerned with, and the future that we should be prepared for. Lest I be misunderstood, let me say clearly, that those who betrayed the people’s trust shall not go unpunished and they will have their day in Court. [applause]

And if the evidence warrants, they will have their day of reckoning too. When I decided to seek the presidency of this Republic, I knew what the ills of our country were; I knew their causes; and I was briefed on those who caused the causes. I heard the people on the streets complain that justice had become illusory; that equity and fairness and speedy disposition of cases had deteriorated into hollow concepts fit only for masteral dissertations. It was, and still is, very sad indeed. As a former prosecutor, I know there always (were) ways of knowing how fast or how slow cases go. What I did was to look into the number of postponements and the time differences between each postponement and the next setting. It was simple as that. I will appreciate deeply if we all in government attend to this urgent need. I was determined then as I am now determined and better positioned, to wage war against those who make a mockery of our laws including those who make life for us all miserable. I wish to assure everyone though that vindictiveness is not in my system. [applause]

Just like you and I, all, equal treatment and equal protection are what I ask for our people. [applause] But we must have the courage to fight for what we believe in, undeterred by the fear of failing or losing. Indeed, courage knows no limits, cowardice does. [applause] At this point, there are concerns few I wish to convey to all; to the end that as I perorate on facts, figures, plans, programs, and solutions, these concerns will not dissipate or get lost along our way. Thus to our religious bishops, leaders, priests, pastors, preachers, imams let me assure you that while I am a stickler for the principle of separation between church and state, I believe quite strongly that there should never be a separation between God and State. [applause]

During my inauguration last 30 [June] 2016, I said that the fight against criminality and illegal drugs and corruption will be relentless and sustained. I reiterate that commitment today. And that is why I call on the Philippine National Police, the barangay chairmen, the Mayors, and Governors and all those occupying seats of power and authority, not to lower their guard. There will be no let-up in this campaign. Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars [applause] or below the ground, if they so wish. [applause]

To our police officers and other officials, do your job and you will have the unwavering support of the Office of the President. [applause] I will be with you all the way. Abuse your authority, and there will be a hell to pay, [applause] for you will have become worse than criminality itself. I order the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) to hasten the conduct of investigation and adjudication of administrative cases against police officers involved in criminal activities and illegal activities and prescribe policies on lifestyle checks for PNP members. In this quest, I will put at stake my honor, my life, and the presidency itself. [applause]

The DILG is also directed to strictly monitor how LGUs perform their supervision functions of the police and those found not performing will be sanctioned including the loss of police deputation from the NAPOLCOM. Let me repeat my warning to all: Do not do drugs [applause] because you will be the solution to the drug crisis that has engulfed — malawak — the nation. We will create an Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs that will integrate efforts and strengthen the partnership of all stakeholders. The reservists will be mobilized for information campaign against drug use and the dissemination of information regarding drug rehabilitation programs being offered by the government. Let us also strengthen our ROTC Program to instill love of country and good citizenship. [applause] We will also prioritize the rehabilitation of drug users. We will increase the number of residential treatment and rehabilitation facilities in all regions of the country. [applause] The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will facilitate the preparation for the use of military camps and facilities for drug rehabilitation. [applause] There can never be real, tangible and felt development without making our people feel secure and it is our duty to uplift the people’s welfare.

With this, my administration shall be sensitive to the State’s obligations to promote, and protect, fulfill the human rights of our citizens, especially the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable and social justice will be pursued, even as the rule of law shall at all times prevail. My administration shall implement a human approach to development and governance, as we improve our people’s welfare in the areas of health, education, adequate food and housing, environmental preservation, and respect for culture. Human rights must work to uplift human dignity. [applause] But human rights cannot be used as a shield or an excuse to destroy the country — your country and my country. [applause] Meantime, since our country continues to be confronted with internal security threats aggravated by the existence and activities of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, the full force of the AFP will be applied to crush these criminals who operate under the guise of religious fervor.

The AFP shall enhance its capability to search and engage these rogue and lawless elements. We have to strengthen our coordination with Indonesia and Malaysia to suppress the kidnappings in the waters of our neighboring countries. We will strengthen our counter-terrorism programs by amending various laws on human terrorism, terrorism financing, and cybercrime. This is our answer to the challenges of the global development’s non-traditional threats, transnational crimes, and fanatical terrorism.

Addressing global warming shall all (will) be our top priority, but upon a fair and equitable equation. [applause] It must not stymie our industrialization. We also endeavor to develop and corporate partnerships with nations sharing common interests and concerns with the Philippines; maintain and sustain bilateral and multilateral consultations and dialogues. We will continue to expand cooperation on human assistance, disaster response, maritime security, and counter terrorism. We shall deepen security dialogues with other nations to build greater understanding and cooperation. With regard to the West Philippine Sea otherwise known as [South] China Sea, we strongly affirm and respect the outcome of the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration as an important contribution to the ongoing efforts to pursue the peaceful resolution and management of our disputes. [applause]

On the aspect of our peace processes relating to our engagement with the international community, the Philippines shall remain committed to work under and with international partners achieving lasting peace and progress in the country. We will vigorously address the grievances that have been time and again expressed, not only by the Bangsamoro, indigenous peoples, and other groups for security, development, fair access to decision-making and acceptance of identities. Enduring peace can only be attained only if we meet these fundamental needs of every man, woman and child. [applause] To our Muslim brothers, the Moro country, and the members of the CPP/NPA/NDF, let me say this: All of us want peace, not the peace of the dead, but the peace of the living. [applause] We express our willingness and readiness to go to the negotiating table, and yet we load our guns, fix our sights, pull the trigger. It is both ironic and tragic— and it is endless. While we extol the bravery and heroism of our soldiers — kayo the rebels — do the same for the members and fighters. What I see instead are the widows and the orphans. And I feel their pain and grief. And no amount of cash assistance or the number of medals can compensate the loss of a human life. [applause] Sorrow cuts across every stratum of society. It cuts deeply and the pain lasts forever. That is why, I reach out to you, to all of you today. To our Muslim brothers, let us end the centuries of mistrust and warfare. To the CPP/NPA/NDF, let us end these decades of ambuscades and skirmishes. We are going nowhere. And it is getting bloodier by the day. To immediately stop violence on the ground, restore peace in the communities, and provide enabling environment conducive to the resumption of the peace talks, I am now announcing a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP/NPA/NDF effective immediately. [applause]

And call on our Filipinos in the National Democratic Front and its forces to respond accordingly. Let me make this appeal to you: “If we cannot, as yet, love one another, then in God’s name, let us not hate each other too much,” so it was said. [applause] I say the same to you today. We will strive to have a permanent and lasting peace before my term ends. That is my goal, that is my dream. [applause]

On the macroeconomic management, my administration will continue and maintain current macroeconomic policies, and even do better. We will achieve this through prudent fiscal and monetary policies that can help translate high growth into more and better job creation and poverty reduction. By the end of my term, I hope — I hope and pray — to hand over an economy that is much stronger, characterized by solid growth, low and stable inflation, dollar reserves, and robust fiscal position.

On taxation, my administration will pursue tax reforms towards a simpler, and more equitable, and more efficient tax system that can foster investment and job creation. We will lower personal and corporate income tax rates [applause] and relax the bank secrecy laws. [applause] Eh na-Presidente ako eh. Ayaw ko sana makialam dito sa mga ‘to. Alam mo na. Well, anyway.

May I continue. At the household level, there must be sufficient income for all Filipinos to meet the basic food and non-food needs for their families. We shall continue (to) attract investments that will generate thousands of jobs each year —jobs that are suitable for the poor and less skilled members of the workforce. Reforms to ensure competitiveness and promote ease of doing business will be mandatory. [applause] Reacting to these needs, the restrictions on the economy will be needed to make more investments to come and to develop labor-intensive industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism shall be pursued. We must also invest in human capital and ensure equal access to economic opportunities. The implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law must be put into full force and effect [applause] so that couples, especially the poor, will have freedom of informed choice on the number and spacing of children they can adequately care and provide for, [applause] eventually making them more productive members of the labor force. When employment is not an option, for instance in extremely rural neighborhoods, entrepreneurship will be advocated.

We shall also enhance local business environment by addressing bottlenecks in business registration and processing, streamlining investment application process and integration the services of various government offices. Government Financing Institutions (GFIs) shall come up with out-of-the box financing packages to capacitate our small and medium entrepreneurs.

In the field of tourism, we shall construct more access roads and tourism gateways to service centers and tourist sites. Road development projects shall complement with our thrust to provide modern agriculture, infrastructural by expanding and improving the construction and rehabilitation of roads and the irrigation and establishing modern harvest and post-harvest facilities to minimize losses. We shall also conduct a nationwide soil analysis to determine areas most suitable for rice farming to optimize production with the use of effective soil rehabilitation and fertilization. We shall strictly enforce fisheries laws, particularly on illegal fishing and promote aquaculture along river banks and in backyards. On the other hand, we will accelerate infrastructure spending by improving national roads and bridges and implementing the Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network [applause] and other road network master plans. We shall pursue inter-island linkage projects. We shall be implementing structural mitigation measures to address of the perennial flooding in Metro Manila and neighboring areas. [applause] We shall put up new pumping stations in strategic places.

The revival of the operation of the Pasig River Ferry Service System is a viable option for the severe traffic congestion in Metro Manila. This serves as an alternative mode of transportation for passengers particularly those coming from the east side of Metro to reach specific destinations within the cities of Manila, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Taguig, Marikina and Quezon City. Our anti-colorum campaign and out-of-line apprehension including the removal of terminals will be intensified and, my God, it will be done. [applause] Immediately, immediately. To address lack of road infrastructure in Metro Manila, usage of existing roads will be maximized. Thus, there is a need to cooperate and coordinate with LGUs to map out secondary routes and to consult various stakeholders, including the public transport operators. Many in government opine realistically, and I would have to agree, that the worsening traffic situation could be logically addressed, if Congress would also accord emergency powers to the agencies concerned. [applause]

Ayaw mo? Okay lang rinPara makita namin kung gusto ninyong madalian. Alam naman talaga ninyo sagad na lahat, sagad na. Nasa inyo ‘yan. If you give it, fine. If you don’t, we take the longer route, slowly. And tanggapin ko ‘yung pag-mumura ninyo. ‘Wag lang sa malapit. [laughter] Eh ganun talaga eh. You’ve done it. It’s an urgent and immediate situation, solution. Gusto ninyo madali lang, okay. Kapag ayaw naman ninyo, because baka sabihin niyo graft and corruption eh ‘di okay. But I assure you — wala ito sa script — I assure you, this will be a clean government. [applause] If that is the only worry that you have and I can understand your misgiving. Wala na ito sa… ang haba. [laughter] Wala na ito sa script. You know, ako maka-garantiya, 101 percent it will be clean. The problem is I can only act through agencies and departments. That’s why I urge you na maski konting mali lang, wala akong ano sa inyo, wala na akong politika, wala na. I’m through after this. I just pass on to you the information that, you know… I act through secretaries and… I cannot guarantee their honesty and competence at all times. Cabinet members, yes. Pero yung sa baba — yung procurement, yung magbi-bidding diyan.

But as far as I can really — malinis talaga ‘to. At napag-usapan namin sa likod about the federal system. You know my advice to you is maintain a federal system, a parliament, but be sure to have a president. Huwag… Hindi na ako niyan. [applause] I’m disqualified and by that time I would (no) longer be here. But, I can commit today to the Republic of the Philippines and its people: If you hurry up the federal system of government and you can submit it to the Filipino people by the fourth, fifth year, proseso ‘yan e. You call for a referendum and after that call for a presidential election, I will go. Sibat na ako. But you just have a president. You copy the France system. Huwag mo hayaan yung puro na parliament. Delikado iyon. It takes time even for the… Iyong kagaya ng England noon. There was this bomb, double deck. It took them time really. There’s no one apparatus for a commander-in-chief down. You can have a president you can elect. Maybe Tito Sotto would be the lucky guy at that time. O, ‘di, limitahan mo lang. Ceremonial powers. Power to dissolve, power to accept the resolution or whatever, mandating you this, do that, or ceremonial powers except yung in times of need, if there’s a demand for action. You must have a president. Wala na ako niyan. I said if you can give me that document, I will urge you to conduct a — to order — to order, call for an election the following day, following week. And even if there is still two years, three years I will go. Okay na ako. Do not worry about me. I don’t aim to that much ambition. Eh nanalo ka eh. Hindi ko nga alam bakit nandito ako ngayon. Noon nandoon lang ako o. [applause] Totoo man. Sino man nagsuporta sa inyo sa akin dito? Wala man? [laughter] Not a single congressman. Except for two provinces, governor. ‘Yun lang. Wala akong barangay captain. Wala akong… wala lahat. Pero ngayon. [laughter]

Different approaches are also being considered to decongest NAIA including the possible transfer of general aviation. Ito ang…I will… Hindi… Ang style ko kasi ganito…Hindi naman ako... I am not sticking to formalities. Itong trans — general aviation, alam mo kung sino ang tinatamaan niyan? Kayong mayayaman. Kayong may mga helicopter pati eroplano, ilipat ko kayo. [applause] Alam mo yung general aviation niyo — mga Learjets, mga ‘yung mga sa mga ano kumpanya, ilagay ko kayo sa Batanes para wala masyadong air traffic [applause].

No, I’m offering Sangley Point. [applause] Kasi kahihiyan ko ang isang runway. I can make a new runway there, sabi ng mga aviation experts but tumbok niyan is the Merville Subdivision. Baka isa pa akong runway dito sa Metro Manila. But if not them, it’s going to be Clark but on a condition that we will have a fast train. Sabi ko kay Art, it will be something like 30. One hour of travel, sabi ko kay Tugade, is not acceptable. Make a rail there bago, marami nang... [inaudible] is the bullet train. Ilagay mo yan sa Filipino na driver, sutoy talaga kayo doon, maglampas kayo. [laughter]

The Clark Airport can be utilized to shift some operations of our domestic and international airlines. Moreover, a one-stop shop will be established within the civil aviation complex for the benefit of the Overseas Filipinos. [applause] Ito mangyari na ’to: To utilize the Clark Airport, it is necessary to establish... Yung mga, well, you have a rail to connect. [Tapos na yan. Itaas mo na kay na i-Tagalog ko na.]

In the area of environment, the military is directed to intensify its support [Makinig kayo, sigig tawa diyan] its support role against illegal logging, illegal mining, nandyan pa naman si Gina Lopez, and other destructive practices that aggravate the devastation of our natural resources. [applause] I have to protect the country. Many are complaining against the appointment of Gina Lopez. But si Gina pati ako, we share the same paradigm: The interest of the country must come first. But hindi ko naman sinasabi, there’s a law allowing mining. Gina Lopez and I are just telling you: Follow government standards. Do not destroy the environment. Follow it to a tee. [applause] Wala tayong problema. Just pay the correct taxes, follow the standards. Gina is just doing her job. You know, she’s a really a crusader, that is how I describe her persona: Crusader. Sabi ko tama yan. Bakit? Nandiyan ba si Ma’am? Si Gina Lopez? Secretary Lopez, nandiyan? [DENR Secretary Lopez stands up and waves]

Ganito yan, pumunta siya sa Davao. Gabi na mga 1 o’clock because on the early days of my — when I won, pero hindi pa ako nag-oath, marami nang nagpuntahan. Felicitations, congratulations. Eh si ma’am pumunta twice. Every time, she shows me the degradation of [inaudible]. Tapos dalawang oras naman mukhang hindi na matapos. Sabi ko, ‘Ma’am’ [laughter]. Ma’am, do not be offended hatotoo man. Huwag ka magalit kay — it’s the truth. So maga-alas tres na, tapos extemporaneous siya, para ring congressman. Sabi ko, “Ma’am, maga-alas quarto na.” “Ma’am, ano kaya kung ikaw na lang ang DENR?” [applause and laughter] Bigla din siya nagsagot, “Totoo ka?” [laughter] “Oo.” Hindi yung “oo,” [laughter]. Sabi niya, “I will ask the — I will consult my family and ask my…” The following day, tawag siya kay — my aide, kay Bong. Sabi niya,Bong, okay na, tinanggap na. Sabi ng pamilya ko, okay na.” Sabi ko, “Hay, bantay kayo lahat.” [laughter] But you know, I would not be appointing somebody who is alien to my thinking. I would take in somebody who shares my horizons in life, especially yung degradation ng — Tama yan. She is a crusader and she will continue. Dito naman eh…The DENR is likewise directed to review all permits granted to the mining, logging and other environmental sensitive activities to ensure compliance with government standards and if warranted, ito na yung pinakamaganda: amend, suspend or revoke permits. Go ahead. [applause]

I’d like to thank God that I had this opportunity really — I never— wala namang ano, I never thought umabot ako dito. I’ve always… That…Sa isip ko mahirap itong ano. Itong Laguna Lake, naubos ang mga… Wala na ang fishermen. Iyon na lang -– the difference with one big fish pen to the other — iyon nalang ang sa mga tao. Makita mo sa plane every time I go to Davao, I pass by that lake there. Every time nakita ko, talagang wala ng ano. And the fishermen are complaining about their loss. Talagang wala na sila kasi ang maliit na lugar iyon lang ang kanila. So dito pinaraan ko lang in diplomatic way that the Laguna Lake shall be transformed into a vibrant economic zone showcasing ecotourism by addressing the negative impact of the watershed destruction, land conversion and pollution. Ito ang nilagay ko. This is what I am telling you. The poor fishermen will have priority in its entitlements. [applause] Order to Gina is: Ayusin mo, Ma’am. Huwag mo namang ipitin but they have to reduce the areas of occupation. They cannot have their cake and eat it too.

Sila na yung may pera, sila na yung — this must stop. So kung itanong, ‘Sino ang may-ari niyan?’ Simple lang: general, mga mayor, governor, baka congressman — this is not personal. This is something that I feel that I must do because it is the right thing to do. [applause] To have adequate disposal facilities for the Metro Manila Garbage, the final closure and rehabilitation of the Carmona Sanitary Landfill shall be pursued while the adoption of appropriate waste-to-energy facilities will be explored. Marami yan. The technology is coming very fast. In the area of governance, there is a need to strengthen our efforts along this line. [Itaas mo na. Itaas yang paragraph na yan] Ito… Select the best answer… [Ang taas na. Huh? Mabubuang ka]

To better manage public information, a law should be passed – I’m addressing Congress– to create the People’s Broadcasting Corporation, replacing PTV-4, [applause] the government-run TV station, which now aims to replicate international government broadcasting networks. Teams from these international news agencies — I’d like to mention those interested BBC — are set to visit the country soon to train people from government-run channels to observe. Ito ang gusto ko — tutal pera naman ng tao — to observe editorial independence through innovative programs [applause] and intelligent treatment and analysis of news reports, as well as developments of national and international significance. The government’s Bureau of Broadcast Services, better known as the Radyo ng Bayan, shall undergo upgrading to make it financially viable and dependable for accurate and independent, and enlightening news and commentary. Radyo ng Bayan will be integrated with the PBC. As we are presently setting up a Presidential Communications Satellite Office in Davao City, PBC will also put up broadcast hubs in the Visayas and Mindanao. [applause]

Davao City will also be the first site of the first Muslim channel, to be called Salaam Television, [applause] and the first Lumad channel. [applause] The PCO shall coordinate with the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Presidential Legal Counsel in implementing the recently approved EO on the Freedom of Information. There is an Executive Order, it’s out. As an example on the part of the Executive Branch to make transparency and integrity as yardsticks in government performance, savings and expenses while engaging the public to be vigilant in participating in government programs and projects.

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Philippine Embassy in Brussels


297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels

Consular matters: (+32) 02 340 33 73 
Consular matters: (+32) 02 340 33 74

Trunkline: (+32) 02 340 33 77 to 78

Fax Number: (+32) 02 345 64 25
Duty Officer: (+32) 0488 609.177


Operating Hours of the
Consular Section

- Assessment and processing of application for a travel document is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

- Mondays to Fridays (except Belgium & Philippine declared holidays)

Note: Applicants should come appropriately attired.



Trade & Investment Center

Jose Antonio S. Buencamino

Commercial Counselor
Avenue Louise 207, Bte 5B, 1050
Brussels, Belgium View Map
Tel: +32 2 649.44.00 / 649.89.48
Fax: +32 2 649.89.40







Consul General, a.h.

Venneborglaan 90, 2100 Deurne, Antwerp
Tel No./Fax (03) 325.71. 16


Consul General, a.h.

New Ernst & Young Bldg.35E Avenue John F. Kennedy 2L-1855 Luxembourg
Tel. No. (+352) 42 124 8444
(+352) 42 124 84 06 



Agricultural Office

Jose I.C. Laquian

Agricultural Attaché
Tel:  +(32) 02 340 37 90 
Fax: +(32) 02 343 02 69
For more information on the Philippine agricultural sector, please visit the following website:


OV and other Advisories

OV Matters

List of OV in Belgium and Luxembourg whose registration will be deactivated by the RERB in OFOV for failing to vote in the last two consecutive elections (2013 and 2016).


In view of the observance of  Bonifacio Day, the Embassy will be closed on Wednesday, 30 November 2016. Activities will resume on Thursday, 01 December 2016.

For urgent matters, please call the Embassy's Duty Officer Phone: 0488-609-177. Thank you.



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For consular queries:  Kindly contact 02 340 3373 or 3374.