By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Seoul

BUSAN, 25 November 2017 - Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez led a nine-member team from the Philippine Embassy in conducting a two-day consular outreach mission in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea and the number one trading port where approximately 2,060 registered Filipinos reside.

Ambassador Raul S. Hernandez (center, standing) poses with Filipino community leaders together with officials and volunteers from the Philippine Embassy and the Honorary Consulate General in Busan.
The consular outreach, the second in Busan this year, was held at the Philippine Honorary Consulate General located in the Gumjeong District in coordination with the Philippine Honorary Consul General, Dr. An Sang-wook and with the assistance of Ms. Ruby Alano, Ms. Erika B. Kang, Pastor Nicolas Cepe, Jr., Ms. Andrea Carla Cepe and Pastor Joel Caranay. 304 Filipinos availed of consular services including passport renewal, report of birth and notarial, as well as services for Pag-IBIG and OEC.

As part of the consular outreach, Ambassador Hernandez led a community forum where various issues affecting overseas Filipinos including consular and labor matters were discussed. Leaders and members of the Filipino community from Busan, Gimhae, Changwon, Masan, Ulsan and Geoje participated, as well as contingency plan area coordinators Mr. Mario Ramirez (Busan), Mr. Michael Sarmiento (Gimhae) and Ms. Hermie Albao (Ulsan). Ambassador Hernandez also reported on matters of interest to the community, such as the ten-year validity of passports beginning 01 January 2018, overseas voting, and updates on the Embassy's contingency plan in case of an outbreak of armed hostilities between North and South Korea. Area coordinators were each given an Emergency Grab Bag to take back to their respective communities to spread awareness and encourage preparation for contingencies.

Assisting Ambassador Hernandez in the presentations were Consul General Christian de Jesus, Labor Attache Ma. Luz Talento and Second Secretary Mildred Abordo. Honorary Consul General to Busan, Dr. An Sang-wook, graciously hosted the forum.

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