1st Philippine Embassy mobile consular service in 2016
The Mobile Consular Team of the Embassy of the Philippines in Wellington rendered its first Mobile Consular Service for 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand on 12-17 February 2016 at the Philippine Consulate General in Auckland. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa led the Mobile Consular Team composed of Mr. Ed Matibag, Ms. Monette Garcia, Ms. Mary Bel Garcia and Ms. Katrina Ciara Garcia in providing consular services for the benefit of Filipinos in Auckland and the surrounding areas in the North Island. Consular services availed of included the processing of e-passports, notarial documentations, reports of birth and marriage, dual citizenship, and fingerprinting for NBI forms.
The visit to Auckland was the first mobile outreach in 2016 to utilize the online appointment system of the Embassy which was pilot tested in Christchurch in November 2015. Applicants provided very positive and highly appreciative feedback to the Philippine Embassy regarding the online registration system stating that it is “hassle free” and “timely”. They also said that the appointment system made the service faster with minimal waiting time for applicants.
The Embassy Team facilitated 767 consular services including passport applications, civil registrations and other consular services. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Gonzales-Macaisa administered the oath-taking ceremony of 101 former Filipinos for the reacquisition of their Philippine citizenship through Republic Act No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act. Furthermore, the Embassy team answered consular inquiries posed by Filipino applicants and strengthened the Embassy’s network with Filipino community members.
A highlight of the Embassy Team’s visit to Auckland is the Legal Orientation Seminar presided by Philippine Honorary Consul General for Auckland, Atty. Paulo Garcia, in coordination with St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s assistant priest, Father Larry Rustia, to promote greater understanding and knowledge of New Zealand’s laws, procedures and requirements to assist Filipino workers and students in New Zealand in their stay, work, study and integration in the country. The Legal Orientation Seminar was held at the grounds of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 12 February 2016.
The Embassy Team along with Honorary Consul General Garcia and his spouse, Mrs. Malou Garcia, also visited Nanam, a Filipino restaurant owned and run by Chef Jessabel Granada and her partners. Nanam was included in Metro Magazine New Zealand as one of the Top 10 for Cheap Eats 2015 in Auckland. According to Metro Magazine, “The food at Nanam is Filipino; more specifically, it’s the fusion of Asian and Spanish known as Pinoy, and it’s magnificent.”