Cancellation of the Embassy's Consular Outreach Missions JSD-2020-24
Due to the extreme socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 in the country, the Philippine Government was compelled to implement steep budget cuts to re-channel resources and prioritize pandemic response, particularly to save the lives, control the spread of the disease, and safeguard the health of our families at home.
As a result, your Embassy, along with all other Philippine Foreign Service Posts worldwide, will have operations at the bare-minimum, which means, among others, having to cancel all its consular outreach missions to the regions for the rest of the year. Whether or not one or two may still be mounted in the last quarter of 2020 is unknown and will largely depend on how the current situation develops and on instructions to be issued by the national government.
However, pursuant to its core mandate, your Embassy will continue to extend help to Filipinos in distress, primarily through its Assistance-To-Nationals (ATN) Unit and its Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
Its Consular Unit in Wellington shall also remain open to provide services. However, those processes requiring personal appearance, e.g., passport and notarial, shall be made available strictly by appointment only. This is one of the measures adopted to help minimise the risk of exposure to infection. Moreover, to give access to those who cannot afford to take leave during the workweek, your Embassy will open on alternate Sundays each month.
We beg for your understanding. We are aware how our outreach missions have helped alleviate hardship, especially among overseas Filipino workers, students, and their dependents. Thus, we persist in finding solutions to ensure that we are able to deliver on essential services, although at a considerable constraint and limitation.
We hope that as a nation, we can take this opportunity to support each other and be united in making sure we emerge from this challenge stronger as a people.
Maraming Salamat Po at Mabuhay Tayong Lahat.