New DFA chief: Who is Enrique Manalo?

Seasoned career diplomat Ambassador Enrique Manalo has been tapped as the new chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for his long and distinguished career in the Philippine Foreign Service as well as his vast experience in diplomacy, the DFA said Friday.

The DFA made the pronouncement as President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. swore in Manalo who he preferred "to effectively advance" the country's "interests in the international stage in the face of formidable challenges."

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. swears in Ambassador Enrique Manalo as the new Department of Foreign Affairs chief. (Photo courtesy of the DFA)

According to DFA, Manalo started his career in the department 40 years ago and was even appointed as undersecretary for Policy twice.

"In this capacity, he was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs in matters involving the country’s relations with the international community," DFA said.

"As Undersecretary for Policy, Secretary Manalo also served as the Philippines' Senior Official in the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting, which is the working level mechanism for ASEAN policy formulation and priority-setting," DFA added.

The new DFA chief was also described as "an expert in multilateral diplomacy." He served as the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York immediately prior to being appointed as Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

He was also the Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.

Other notable positions that Manalo served were: acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Belgium, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, Minister Counselor and Deputy Permanent Representative in the Philippine Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, and First Secretary and Consul at the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC.

The new DFA chief also obtained a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, according to DFA.

He was also awarded the Order of Lakandula with rank of Grand Cross (Bayani) in 2018, the Gawad Mabini with rank of Grand Cross (Dakilang Kamanong) in 2017, and the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Grand Cross (Datu) in 2010.

Manalo is married to Pamela Louise Hunt and has two sons.