Monday, 27 April 2015 Brussels Belgium
PNOY statement on lifting of warning to PH on IUUF
Friday, 24 April 2015 09:39    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail



President Aquino welcomes the European Union’s lifting of yellow-card warning to the Philippines on illegal fishing
April 23, 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III has welcomed the European Union’s (EU) decision to revoke its yellow-card warning issued to the Philippines regarding measures to fight illegal fishing.

The warning was issued in June last year after the EU deemed that the Philippines had previously not done enough to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The President said that “had the situation worsened, this would have alienated one of the biggest importers of fish for the Philippines, which would have been a blow against our fishing industry and Filipino fishermen”.

“This is why I tasked concerned agencies to work tirelessly to comply with the EU’s requirements. During my trip to Europe, I likewise discussed the issue with prominent EU officials to ensure that we are on the right track. I am pleased to report that, as of today, the EU has lifted its yellow-card warning against the Philippines,” President Aquino said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“Rest assured: We will continue to implement reforms to avoid a similar situation in the future, and strengthen our fishing industry even further. We are determined to do so, knowing just how many of our countrymen depend on this for their livelihood,” the President further said.

In a press statement, the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines said the EU “acknowledges the Philippines’ efforts to partner up with us in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.”

“Since an official dialogue started, the Philippines embarked on a series of reforms to upgrade its fisheries governance and successfully aligned it to international law. Achievements made by the Philippines include the adoption of a new Fisheries Code with a deterrent scheme of sanctions, the improvement of the traceability and catch certification schemes, reinforced cooperation with Papua New Guinea for inspection and control and coverage of the activities of the long distant fleet operating beyond Philippines waters,” it said

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella noted that “the Philippines has taken responsible action, amended its legal systems and switched to a proactive approach against illegal fishing”.
EU ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux meanwhile said, “This recognition means that the ‘identification’ procedure that had started with a yellow card in June 2014 is stopped, the yellow card revoked – thanks to the good work done by the Philippines government and Congress.”

The country’s fishery exports to the EU amounted to EUR170 million in 2013, out of a total of EUR5.1 billion.

Last Updated ( Friday, 24 April 2015 09:43 )
The European Union issues a green card to PH on illegal fishing
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 07:56    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail
European Commission - Press release

EU acts on illegal fishing: Yellow card issued to Thailand while South Korea & Philippines are cleared

Brussels, 21 April 2015

The European Commission has today put Thailand on formal notice for not taking sufficient measures in the international fight against illegal fishing (IUU).

As a result of a thorough analysis and a series of discussions with Thai authorities since 2011, the Commission has denounced the country's shortcomings in its fisheries monitoring, control and sanctioning systems and concludes that Thailand is not doing enough.

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, stated: "Our EU rigorous policy on a harmful practice such as illegal fishing, together with our genuine capacity to act, is paying off. I urge Thailand to join the European Union in the fight for sustainable fisheries Failure to take strong action against illegal fishing will carry consequences."

Today's Decision starts a formal procedure of dialogue with the Thai authorities to make them take the necessary corrective measures. They will be given six months to implement a corrective tailor-made action plan.

Should the situation not improve, the EU could resort to banning fisheries imports from Thailand. Such measure was taken in the past with Belize, Guinea, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. Imports from Belize were banned last year but due to the reforming efforts of the authorities they are now allowed.

On a more positive note, the European Commission acknowledges today that two fishing nations, Korea and the Philippines, have carried out appropriate reforms of their legal systems and are now equipped to tackle illegal fishing. It therefore stops the "identification" procedure that had started with a yellow card to Korea in November 2013 and the Philippines in June 2014.

Commissioner Vella noted that; "By using our market weight the EU is getting important players on board. Both Korea and the Philippines have taken responsible action, amended their legal systems and switched to a proactive approach against illegal fishing".

Since they were issued with warnings, both Korea and the Philippines embarked on a series of reforms to upgrade their fisheries governance. Their legal systems are now aligned to international law.

As a result of the action taken by Korea and the Philippines, the Commission has stopped formal discussions with the countries' authorities and looks forward to Korea and the Philippines becoming valuable allies on sustainable management within global and regional organisations.



Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish, i.e. at least 15% of world catches, are caught illegally every year. This is worth between 8 and 19 billion euros. As the world's biggest fish importer, the EU does not wish to be complicit and accept such products into its market. The so-called 'IUU Regulation', which entered into force in 2010, allows access onto the EU market only to fisheries products that have been certified as legal by the flag State concerned. When flag States are unable to certify their products, the Commission starts a process of cooperation and assistance with them to help improve their legal frameworks. The milestones of this process are the warnings (yellow cards), the green cards if issues are solved and the red cards if they aren't - the latter leading to a trade ban.

Like Korea and the Philippines, in October 2014 also Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu got a green card, as they had solved the issues identified by the Commission. Formal dialogue is still ongoing with Ghana and Curaçao, which received formal warnings in November 2013; Papua New Guinea, warned in June 2014; and Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, warned in December 2014. Most of these countries are now cooperating constructively with the Commission, making significant progress in their fisheries management systems in order to curb illegal fishing.

By contrast, fisheries products caught by vessels from Sri Lanka, Guinea and Cambodia are banned from being imported into the EU. Belize was withdrawn from the black list in December 2014, after it adopted lasting measures to address the shortcomings of its fisheries systems.

The fight against illegal fishing is part of the EU's forceful drive to ensure sustainable ocean governance and to project globally the principle of sustainability, enshrined in the Common Fisheries Policy.




Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 April 2015 07:59 )
ASEAN Brussels Committee meets with Luxembour FM
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 07:24    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail

ASEAN Brussels Committee meets with Luxembourg FM Jean Asselborn


The ASEAN Brussels Committee (ABC), currently chaired by the Philippines, met with Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 27 March 2015.

The ABC, led by Ambassador Victoria S Bataclan, were invited by Minister Asselborn to Luxembourg to discuss and exchange views on a wide range of issues from the landmark establishment of the ASEAN Community later this year to Luxembourg's upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union and its hosting of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers' Meeting on 5-6 November 2015.

Minister Asselborn reiterated the EU's as well as his country's full support for the ASEAN Community. He also expressed hope for the continued strengthening of political as well as economic relations between the two regions. He assured the ASEAN Ambassadors and representatives of Luxembourg's support to the ASEAN region in terms of increased trade, continued development cooperation and readiness to provide humanitarian assistance. The Minister also discussed Luxembourg's priorities when it assumes the EU Council Presidency in July, which include, among others, economic growth and job creation in the EU, the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals, and success of the COP21 Conference on Climate Change in Paris.

The ABC briefed the Minister on developments in ASEAN, including the progress achieved to realise the ASEAN Economic Community, increased connectivity, regional security issues, and climate change. They also conveyed the hope for resumption of ASEAN-EU FTA negotiations.

The ABC commended Luxembourg on its successful term in the United Nations Security Council. They also expressed confidence that ASEAN-EU cooperation will continue to flourish under Luxembourg's EU Council Presidency. The ABC said they look forward to the successful hosting by Luxembourg of the ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting.


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 April 2015 07:27 )
Akyat Barko OV Registration of PH Seafarers
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 08:06    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail


Brussels, 10 April 2015. ---  The Philippine Embassy in Brussels registered thirty-eight (38) Filipino seafarers as it conducted its first 'Akyat Barko' outreach for the year on 7 April 2015.

The Embassy team, composed of Mr. Eric F. Rubas, Ms. Faith Bautista and Mr. Pol Sevilla, as they boarded M/V Blue Dragon and M/V Clipper Kamoshio which were then docked at the Port of Antwerp.  M/V Blue Dragon has a full Filipino crew complement headed by Master Maurino Q. Llanes of Ilocos Sur .  M/V Clipper Kamoshio is manned mostly by Filipinos and has Chief Mate Neil I. Asingua of Cebu as the highest ranking Filipino officer.

The team was assisted by Fr. Jorgedy Bago, Filipino chaplain for Seafarers based at Stella Maris in Antwerp, Belgium.

Master Llanes of the Blue Dragon expressed his appreciation for the registration effort and conveyed the seafarers' eagerness to register and vote during the next elections.   All seafarers were likewise thankful that they will be able to vote anywhere in the world, especially with a lengthened voting period.

'Akyat Barko is a regular activity of Brussels PE to bolster its campaign for the overseas voting registration.

The Port of Antwerp is the biggest port in Belgium and the second biggest in Europe, after Rotterdam. In 2012, it handled 14,220 sea trade ships and 57,044 inland barges.

In 2013, Filipino seafarers number 460,000, 21% of the 2.2 million OFWs all over the world.

The Embassy will continue its cooperation with the Stella Maris Chaplaincy in Antwerp so it can continue to monitor vessels with Filipino seafarers, for purposes of the OAV registration exercise.


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Courtesy Visit of the Ambassador to Kortrijk
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 15:15    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail

13 February 2015. The Philippine Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, H.E. Victoria S. Bataclan, paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Vincent Paul Marie Van Quickenborne, Mayor of the Municipality of Kortrijk, Belgium to express the Embassy's support to the forthcoming official visit of the City of Kortrijk to Cebu City from 20 February until 2 March 2015. Kortrijk and Cebu have an existing city to city cooperation since 2005.

Mayor Quickenborne related that this year's visit will focus on climate change through exchanges of knowledge and expertise and citizen's participation on the issue. The cooperation also brings the people of the both cities in a context of international cooperation and solidarity. The visit also aims to strengthen the contacts between both cities and prepare projects focusing primarily on climate change, education (Post graduate program-internship), youth exchange program, humanitarian assistance, and cultural exchange.

Deputy Vice Mayor Bert Herrewyn will lead Kortrijk delegation.

Ambassador Bataclan commended the continuous cooperation efforts of Kortrijk and conveyed the Philippines' deep appreciation for ongoing efforts in support of relief operations for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Municipality of San Francisco, Camotes Islands, north-east of Cebu City.


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 February 2015 15:45 )
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Philippine Embassy in Brussels


297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels



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

Fax Number: (+32) 02 345 64 25



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


Appointment_UrgentOperating Hours of the
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Duty Officer: (+32) 0488 609.177




Consul General, a.h. (Antwerp, Belgium)
Telefax: +323 325 71 16
GSM +324 754 609 32

Consul a.h. (Antwerp, Belgium)
GSM +324 754 228 61
Fax: +323 325 71 16


Consul General a.h. (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg)
Fax No. 352.421.245.555







PH Trade & Investment Center


Zafrullah G. Masahud

Commercial Counsellor
Avenue Louise 207, Bte 5B, 1050
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Tel: +32 2 649.44.00 / 649.89.48
Fax: +32 2 649.89.40

Agricultural Office


Pit 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:






Republic Act No. 10590 An Act Amending Republic Act No. 9189, entitled "An Act Providing for a System of Overseas Absentee Voting by Qualified Citizens of the Philippines Abroad, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for other Purposes" (Click here)






For more details, please visit the Embassy's Consular Section, or contact us through telephone numbers 02.340.3377 to 78 or email us at


Announcements and Links


  • Situational reports on the effects of typhoons can be found at the website of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (