PH Consulate in Barcelona reopens to serve 35,000 Filipinos

Published June 28, 2021, 1:32 PM

by Roy Mabasa

After almost nine years, the Philippine Consulate General in Barcelona is now back in operation and ready to serve the more than 35,000 Filipinos within its jurisdiction.

Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe J. Lhuillier and Consul General Ma. Theresa S.M. Lazaro (1st & 2nd from right) lead the reopening of the Philippine Consulate General’s office in Barcelona, Spain on June 7, 2021. (PCG Barcelona)

Newly-designated Philippine Consul General to Barcelona Maria Theresa S.M. Lazaro and Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe J. Lhuillier led the inauguration on the reopening of the Consulate on June 7, 2021.

“Dear friends, our task is as grand as our vision, for this Consulate to become the platform for a more rejuvenated collaboration and frequent exchanges,” Lazaro said in her remarks as she thanked the Filipino community for their determination in lobbying for the re-opening of the Consulate General.

Barcelona is Lazaro’s first Head of Post assignment prior to becoming the Executive Director of the Office of Consular Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Lhuillier, who came all the way from Madrid, recounted several historical facts that are a testament to the Philippines’ long love affair with Spain and their significance in furthering the bilateral relations between the Philippines and Spain.

Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe J. Lhuillier (seated middle) and Consul General Ma. Theresa S.M. Lazaro (seated right) with officers and staff of the newly-reopened Philippine Consulate General’s office in Barcelona. (PCG Barcelona)

“We don’t want to simply reminisce the past. We want to look ahead and underscore these historical ties as a foundation for building a stronger relationship,” Lhuillier said.

The Philippine envoy stressed that the Consul General is taking on a big agenda, serving the more than 35,000 Filipinos under the Consulate’s jurisdiction and promoting economic, political, cultural and people-to-people ties.

The reopening, he said, will also create a base from which the Philippines can learn more about the opportunities where it can work together with the host country, establish networks in areas under the Consulate’s jurisdiction and helping advance all aspects of bilateral relations.”

High-ranking Spanish officials, including the Sub-delegate of the Government of Barcelona Carlos Prieto, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Generalitat de Catalunya Victoria Alsina, and Deputy Mayor Laia Bonet all expressed their full support for the re-opening of the Consulate General.

Also in attendance were members and representatives of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and networks of the Barcelona Activa as well as heads of institutions such as Casa Asia and the think tank, Barcelona Center for International Affairs.

The short program included the blessing of the Consulate by Fr. Francis de Guzman.

In 2012, Philippine Consulate-General in Barcelona was one of the 10 Philippine foreign diplomatic missions that were ordered closed due to comments made by some legislators about posts in places with limited national interests, including those with small Filipino communities.

 
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