Philippine Embassy brings mobile consular services to Dunedin and adjacent cities in the South Island of New Zealand
As the Philippine Embassy continues its mobile consular services for the fifth year for Filipinos in New Zealand, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez led the Philippine Embassy Mobile Consular Team composed of Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa, Ms. Ma. Victoria Reyes, Mr. Edgar Matibag, Ms. Mary Bel Garcia and Ms. Monette Garcia in conducting mobile consular services for the benefit of Filipinos in Dunedin and the surrounding areas of the South Island in New Zealand on 12-16 February 2015. Called “The Philippine Embassy in New Zealand: Serving with a Smile, Going the Extra Mile and Reaching Beyond Our Grasp” mobile consular services, 255 Filipinos from Dunedin, Balclutha, Christchurch, Winton, Oamaru, Kaitangata, Queenstown, Ranfurly, Invercargill, Ashburton, Winton, Waimate and adjacent areas in the South Island availed of e-passports processing, notarial documentation, reports of birth and marriage, dual citizenship and overseas voting registration services. This is the 39th mobile consular mission conducted by the Philippine Embassy since October 2011. To date, a total of 14,091 Filipinos comprising 34.26% of the 41,129 members of the Filipino community have benefitted from this first ever mobile consular service throughout the North and South Islands of New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and Cook Islands.
The Filipino community members in Dunedin and other parts of the North Island reiterated their deep gratitude to the Philippine Government through the Philippine Embassy for rendering the much needed and sought after consular services right where they are residing and working. The first passport applicant was from Christchurch, Ms. Lovely Mae M. Mendoza, who conveyed her appreciation for the outreach consular services extended by the Philippine Embassy by commenting that the “team are well presented and friendly”. Several Filipinos also gave very positive and highly appreciative feedback to the Philippine Embassy for this continuing excellent and timely service which saves them a lot of money, time, days off and resources as it would have been extremely costly, inconvenient and difficult if they had to go all the way to Wellington. “Friendly and approachable, accommodating and pleasant, excellent service, well done, very pleased at the mobile services,” were among the written feedback given by the Filipinos.
The Philippine Embassy has always shared with the Filipino community the Philippine Government’s priority and concern for their welfare and well-being as the third major pillar of Philippine foreign policy. “In recognition of the vital roles and crucial contributions of the global Filipinos to nation-building in the Philippines and New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and Cook Islands, the Philippine Embassy will continue to reach out to them through our mobile consular services and dialogue, demonstrate its caring and sharing spirit and bring the Embassy’s services closer to more than 41,000 Filipinos in these countries,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.
Ambassador Benavidez and the Embassy Mobile Consular Team reiterated their deep appreciation to Ms. Marilou G. Scott, President, Dunedin Philippine Club, Inc., Ms. Bernadette Magnuson, Mr. George Magnuson, Ms. Fil Rodriguez, Ms. Arlene Butterfield and members for their vital support and cooperation that immensely contributed to a successful consular outreach mission in Dunedin.