Saturday, 10 December 2016 Brussels Belgium
BSP Circular No. 922 series of 2016
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 09:06    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail

ADVISORY

Frequent travelers to and from the Philippines may now bring up to PHP 50,000.00 when they go out of the country: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

According to BSP Circular No. 922 series of 2016, "A person may import or export, or bring with him into or take out of the country, or electronically transfer, legal tender Philippine notes and coins, checks, money order and other bills of exchange drawn in pesos against banks operating in the Philippines in an amount not exceeding PHP50,000 without prior authorization from the BSP."

 
Anniversary Celebration of Friendship for PHL
Monday, 26 September 2016 13:00    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail

CDA DENIEGA ATTENDS ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF FRIENDSHIP FOR THE PHILIPPINES

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.


 
SFA's Remarks at the 2nd Manila Conference on SCS
Monday, 08 August 2016 13:20    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail

Foreign Service Institute Director-General Claro Cristobal,
Distinguished Colleagues,
Friends,
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

 

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.

 

Conclusion

 

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. ***


Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 September 2016 08:10 )
 
Independence Day Celebration in Luxembourg
Thursday, 30 June 2016 09:45    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail

PHILIPPINE CONSUL GENERAL IN LUXEMBOURG CELEBRATES PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DAY

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.

 
Overseas Voting Advisory
Friday, 09 September 2016 08:09    | Written by mcgjr    PDF Print E-mail

NOTICE OF REGISTRATION AND ELECTION TO ALL FILIPINO CITIZENS:


Notice is hereby given that under Republic Act No. 9189 as amended by Republic Act. No. 10590, all citizens of the Philippines abroad, who are not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on May 13, 2019, and who are registered overseas voters, may vote for Senators and Party-List Representatives.

All qualified Filipino citizens who are not registered overseas voters may file their applications at the nearest embassy/consulate or other registration centers authorized by the Commission on Elections.

To register, all applicants must personally appear at the Philippine Embassy for biometrics capturing and bring the following requirements: 1) Photocopy of valid passport or if dual citizen, 2) Copy of Oath of Allegiance or Proof of Philippine citizenship from the Bureau of Immigration; or for seamen, 3) Copy of Seaman's Book.
Filing of applications for registration shall be from December 1, 2016 to October 31, 2018.

The 30-day voting period will commence on April 13, 2019 until May 13, 2019 (Philippine time) at the Philippine Embassy. Time of voting to be announced later.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

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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

Hours

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.


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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: brussels@dti.gov.ph
Web: www.dti.gov.ph

 

 

 

cons

 

ANTWERP

PETER VAN BOGAERT
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

LUXEMBOURG

ALAIN KINSCH
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
E-mailagribxl@gmail.com
For more information on the Philippine agricultural sector, please visit the following website: www.da.gov.ph

 

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).

HOLIDAYS

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.

 

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