Tuesday, 26 July 2016 Brussels Belgium

Independence Day Celebration in Luxembourg
Thursday, 30 June 2016 09:45    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail


Philippine Consul General (ad honorem) for Luxembourg Mr. Alain Kinsch, Country Managing Partner of  Ernst & Young Luxembourg, together with Her Excellency, Philippine Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Victoria S. Bataclan, hosted around two hundred (200) Luxembourg government officials, business and trade people as well as diplomats from the different missions represented in Luxembourg to a reception in celebration of the 118th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at Cercle Cité in Luxembourg on 16 June 2016.

In their individual speeches, Consul General Kinsch and Ambassador Bataclan highlighted the friendly relations which have existed between the two countries for the past seventy (70) years.  Similar to Belgium, it is also the 70th year of Luxembourg-Philippine relations.

Luxembourg has always been supportive of Philippine initiatives particularly on the search for a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes based on international law, specifically under UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea).

It will be recalled that Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario visited Luxembourg on July 2013 to renew bilateral ties with Luxembourg and promote trade and investment between the two countries.  Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn visited the Philippines in 2008.

In his speech, Consul General Kinsch cited the signing of the Philippines-Luxembourg Social Security Agreement (SSA) on May 2015  which provided for some 500 Filipino workers in Luxembourg and Filipino seafarers on board Luxembourg-flagged vessels to aggregate their contributions and receive continuous social protection whether in the Philippines or in Luxembourg. 

Consul General Kinsch also expressed his appreciation to the ‘vibrant’ Filipino community in Luxembourg which to him is an expression of solidarity and concrete support for the Filipinos in the Philippines.    Such Filipino community includes Filipino women married to Luxembourg nationals and the 164 Filipinos working in Luxembourg (according to STATEC, the government statistics service of Luxembourg).  Around 30 Filipinos are employed as accountants in the various financial institutions in Luxembourg such as Ernst & Young, Swiss Re Europe Holdings Inc., Capita Asset Services, Prologis Luxembourg etc.

Ambassador Bataclan took the opportunity to encourage Luxembourg officials and  business people to send another Mission to the Philippines, similar to the Economic Mission of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce to the Philippines in November 2015 and to the one which Belgium will be having in the year 2017.   She also spoke personally with the Chairman of E&Y Luxembourg and invited him to conduct a team-building activity of E&Y executives in the Philippines.  As in previous occasions, the Ambassador took every chance to promote the Philippines as an investment and tourist destinations.

Consul General Kinsch also took the celebration of the 118th Anniversary of Philippine Independence and the 70 Years of Philippine-Luxembourg relations as the occasion to host and to feature world-renowned pianist Dr. Raul Sunico at a Private Concert at the E&Y Auditorium of the very new E&Y building headquarters along Kennedy Road in Luxembourg.

In his Remarks,  the E&Y Chief Executive Officer, said that he is presenting this Concert because the (Philippine) Ambassador has always reminded him that it is not enough to promote business relations alone, but it would also provide additional benefits to promote cultural relations between the Philippines and Luxembourg.

Dr. Sunico delighted the audience  with his heartwarming renditions of Prelude in C# Minor, op. 3 no 2; Aragon;  Etude in E, op. 10 no. 3; Polonaise in A-flat, op. 53; Liebestraum; Liebestod; Bato sa Buhangin; Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan; and Rhapsody in Blue

Dr. Sunico is the current President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Dean of the UST Conservatory of Music.

Inaugural address of H.E. President Rodrigo Duterte
Thursday, 30 June 2016 07:40    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail


President Fidel Ramos, sir, salamat po sa tulong mo making me President; President Joseph Ejercito Estrada; Senate President Franklin Drilon and the members of the Senate; Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and the members of the House of Representatives; Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court; His Excellency Guiseppe Pinto and the members of the Diplomatic Corps; incoming members of the Cabinet; fellow workers in government; my fellow countrymen.

No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve.

It is the people from whom democratic governments draw strength and this administration is no exception. That is why we have to listen to the murmurings of the people, feel their pulse, supply their needs and fortify their faith and trust in us whom they elected to public office.

There are many amongst us who advance the assessment that the problems that bedevil our country today which need to be addressed with urgency, are corruption, both in the high and low echelons of government, criminality in the streets, and the rampant sale of illegal drugs in all strata of Philippine society and the breakdown of law and order. True, but not absolutely so. For I see these ills as mere symptoms of a virulent social disease that creeps and cuts into the moral fiber of Philippine society. I sense a problem deeper and more serious than any of those mentioned or all of them put together. But of course, it is not to say that we will ignore them because they have to be stopped by all means that the law allows.

Erosion of faith and trust in government – that is the real problem that confronts us. Resulting therefrom, I see the erosion of the people’s trust in our country’s leaders; the erosion of faith in our judicial system; the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people’s lives better, safer and healthier.

Indeed ours is a problem that dampens the human spirit. But all is not lost.

I know that there are those who do not approve of my methods of fighting criminality, the sale and use of illegal drugs and corruption. They say that my methods are unorthodox and verge on the illegal. In response let me say this:

I have seen how corruption bled the government of funds, which were allocated for the use in uplifting the poor from the mire that they are in.

I have seen how illegal drugs destroyed individuals and ruined family relationships.

I have seen how criminality, by means all foul, snatched from the innocent and the unsuspecting, the years and years of accumulated savings. Years of toil and then, suddenly, they are back to where they started.

Look at this from that perspective and tell me that I am wrong.

In this fight, I ask Congress and the Commission on Human Rights and all others who are similarly situated to allow us a level of governance that is consistent to our mandate. The fight will be relentless and it will be sustained.

As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, I know the limits of the power and authority of the president.  I know what is legal and what is not.

My adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising.

You mind your work and I will mind mine.

“Malasakit;” “Tunay na Pagbabago; Tinud-anay (real) nga Kausaban(change)” [applause] – these are words which catapulted me to the presidency. These slogans were conceptualized not for the sole purpose of securing the votes of the electorate.  “Tinud-anay nga kabag-uhan (real change). Mao kana ang tumong sa atong pang-gobyerno (this is the direction of our government).”

Far from that. These were battle cries articulated by me in behalf of the people hungry for genuine and meaningful change. But the change, if it is to be permanent and significant, must start with us and in us.  

To borrow the language of F. Sionil Jose, we have become our own worst enemies. And we must have the courage and the will to change ourselves.

Love of country, subordination of personal interests to the common good, concern and care for the helpless and the impoverished – these are among the lost and faded values that we seek to recover and revitalize as we commence our journey towards a better Philippines. The ride will be rough. But come and join me just the same. Together, shoulder to shoulder, let us take the first wobbly steps in this quest.

There are two quotations from revered figures that shall serve as the foundation upon which this administration shall be built.

“The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little.”

-  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

And from (Abraham) Lincoln I draw this expression:

“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; You cannot further the brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men.”

My economic and financial, political policies are contained in those quotations, though couched in general terms. Read between the lines. I need not go into specifics now. They shall be supplied to you in due time.

However, there are certain policies and specifics of which cannot wait for tomorrow to be announced.

Therefore, I direct all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications, [applause] from the submission to the release. I order all department secretaries and heads of agencies to remove redundant requirements and compliance with one department or agency, shall be accepted as sufficient for all.

I order all department secretaries and heads of agencies to refrain from changing and bending the rules government contracts, transactions and projects already approved and awaiting implementation. [applause] Changing the rules when the game is on-going is wrong.

I abhor secrecy and instead advocate transparency [applause] in all government contracts, projects and business transactions from submission of proposals to negotiation to perfection and finally, to consummation.

Do them and we will work together. [applause] Do not do them, we will part sooner than later.

On the international front and community of nations, let me reiterate that the Republic of the Philippines will honor treaties and international obligations.

On the domestic front, my administration is committed to implement all signed peace agreements in step with constitutional and legal reforms.

I am elated by the expression of unity among our Moro brothers and leaders, and the response of everyone else to my call for peace.

I look forward to the participation of all other stakeholders, particularly our indigenous peoples, to ensure inclusivity in the peace process.

Let me remind in the end of this talk, that I was elected to the presidency to serve the entire country. I was not elected to serve the interests of any one person or any group or any one class. I serve every one and not only one.

That is why I have adapted as an article of faith, the following lines written by someone whose name I could no longer recall. He said:

“I have no friends to serve, I have no enemies to harm.”

Prescinding therefrom, I now ask everyone, and I mean everyone, to join me as we embark on this crusade for a better and brighter tomorrow.

But before I end, let me express the nations, on behalf of the people, our condolences to the Republic of Turkey of what has happened in the place. We offer our deepest condolences.

Why am I here? Hindi kasali ito diyan. [laughs] The past tense was, I am here because I love my country and I love the people of the Philippines. I am here, why? Because I am ready to start my work for the nation.

Thank you and good afternoon.

Celebration of the 155th Birth Anniversary of Jose Rizal
Monday, 27 June 2016 15:32    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail

PH Embassy in Brussels hosts Filipino Community Celebration of 155th Birth Anniversary of Rizal

On 19 June 2016, the Philippine Embassy joined the Filipino Community, including the Knights of Rizal (KOR) from various chapters all over Belgium, in celebrating the 155th birthday of Philippine National Hero, Dr Jose RIzal.

Speaking on behalf of Ambassador Victoria S Bataclan, Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General Alan L Deniega welcomed nearly 80 guests at the Philippine Embassy in Brussels, among who are the Filipino and Belgian leaders and members of the Alst Chapter, Brussels Chapter, Charleroi Chapter, Diamond Chapter, and El Filibusterismo Belgium Chapter of the KOR, as well as the leaders and members of Kababaihang Rizalista and Las Damas de Rizal.

ConGen Deniega noted the welcome and hospitality Dr Rizal received in Belgium. Dr Rizal spent some months in Belgium, including Brussels and Ghent, where he continued to write articles for La Solidaridad and eventually concluded his second seminal novel, El Filibusterismo. This year is especially significant not only because of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Belgium, but also because of the 125th anniversary of the publication of the El Filibusterismo in Ghent. The Embassy in partnership with the KOR is currently preparing for a commemorative conference on Dr Rizal in September in Ghent. Renowned Filipino historian Ambeth Ocampo will be among the speakers.

A floral offering was conducted on the grounds of the Embassy, followed by a programme of fellowship and affirmation to the ideals and principles of Dr Rizal. A Capella Manila, a choral group based in the Philippines, joined in the celebrations and presented a repertoire of contemporary and traditional Filipino songs.

Independence Day Celebration in Brussels
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 08:59    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail


The Philippine Embassy in Brussels, led by Her Excellency Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan, Philippine Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union (EU), provided guests with a double treat as the Embassy presented world-renowned pianist Dr. Raul C. Sunico and the choral group A Cappella Manila, in a mini-concert during the Philippine National Day celebration at the Panoramic Hall of the Square Brussels Meeting Centre on 15 June 2016.

Belgian government officials, officials from the different EU institutions, diplomats from the different Embassies/Missions in Belgium, business and trade people, leaders of the different Filipino community organizations in Belgium, and friends of the Philippines numbering around three-hundred listened in awe to Dr. Sunico's rendition of Liebestraum, Bato sa Buhangin, Aragon, Prelude in C#Minor, Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan and Rhapsody in Blue and to A Cappella Manila's Eres Tu, La Rose Complete, Heal the World, Iisang Bangka, Lipad ng Pangarap and Tagumpay nating Lahat while savouring an array of carefully-selected Filipino dishes which includes tapa and ukoy, served with San Miguel Beer.

In her Message, Ambassador Bataclan cited the Filipinos' love for freedom and found it fitting that they are celebrating the 118th Anniversary of Philippine Independence with Belgian friends with whom they are also celebrating 70 Years of Philippine-Belgium diplomatic relations.

Another highlight of the event was a chocolate piece symbolizing Philippine-Belgium friendship created by chocolatier John Soriano.

Dr. Sunico's performances in France, Germany, Brussels and Luxembourg were made possible with the generous support and assistance of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

The A Cappella Manila, on their 6th European Goodwill Concert Tour, performed in The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg.  In Belgium, apart from the National Day reception performance, they were at the Shrine of Infant Jesus in Brussels and the Knights of Rizal (KOR) commemoration of the 155th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.

This year's Philippine Independence Day celebration in Brussels was likewise made possible with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Philippine Department of Tourism office in Frankfurt, Germany; the Office of the Agricultural Attaché in Brussels, and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Brussels.

In addition, the Philippine Embassy organized an economic briefing, The Philippines - Your Business Partner in Asia-Pacific, for Belgian officials and members of the business sector prior to the National Day celebration. The briefing, held in preparation for the Belgian Economic Mission to the Philippines in May 2017, was attended by representatives from the Federal Public Service - Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation; the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency; Brussels Invest & Export; Flanders Investment & Trade; Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency; the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of key Belgian cities; and a number of Belgian companies.

Ambassador Bataclan in her welcome remarks said the Belgian Economic Mission is a testament to the longstanding friendship between the Philippines and Belgium, and a vote of confidence in the strength of the Philippine economy.

Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers'Meeting in Kunming, China
Friday, 17 June 2016 11:03    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail


The Philippines participated in the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China on 14 June 2016.

During the meeting, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers noted that 2016 is a milestone for ASEAN-China relations as it marks the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations. They looked forward to working together with China to bring ASEAN-China cooperation to the next level. They agreed to enhance ASEAN-China cooperation on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual benefit and shared responsibility in the interest of achieving national and regional prosperity.

On the South China Sea, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers:

had a candid exchange with the Chinese Foreign Minister in view of the recent developments on the ground;

expressed their serious concerns over recent and ongoing developments, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and which may have the potential to undermine peace, security and stability in the South China Sea;

stressed the importance of maintaining peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);

emphasized the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would further complicate the situation or escalate tensions, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law;

articulated their commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the UNCLOS and the UN Charter;

emphasized the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities, including land reclamation, which may raise tensions in the South China Sea;

reiterated their firm commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety, and while noting the momentum and new phase of consultations, urged the early adoption of an effective Code of Conduct;

Pursuant to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety, and pending the early adoption of an effective Code of Conduct, stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures that would enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties.

When the arbitration case was raised, the Philippines’ reply underscored that arbitration is among the legal and diplomatic processes promoting the rule of law in the region, and is fully consistent with the DOC and the region’s efforts to peacefully resolve the disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the UN Charter. END

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Philippine Embassy in Brussels


297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels
E-mail: consular.brusselspe@gmail.com

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
E-mail: brusselspe@gmail.com


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
E-mail: ptic@dti.gov.ph
Web: www.dti.gov.ph







Consul General, a.h.

Venneborglaan 90, 2100 Deurne, Antwerp
E-mail: pb.vanbogaert@skynet.be
E-mail: aguansing@skynet.be
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 
Email: alain.kinsch@lu.ey.com



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: www.da.gov.ph




In view of the observance of the Belgian National Day, the Embassy will be closed on Thursday 21 July 2016. Activities will resume on Friday 22 July 2016.

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



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