Embassy of the Philippines, Lisbon
|Embassy of the Philippines, Lisbon|
Pasuguan ng Pilipinas sa Lisboa
Embaixada das Filipinas em Lisboa
|Address||Rua Barata Salgueiro 30|
|Ambassador||Celia Anna M. Feria|
The Embassy of the Philippines in Lisbon is the diplomatic mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the Portuguese Republic. It is located in the freguesia of Santo António in central Lisbon, next to the Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida, and near the Avenida da Liberdade and the Marquis of Pombal Square. Although the current chancery dates from 2010, the Philippines also maintained a previous resident embassy in Portugal between 1965 and 1974.
Although diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Portugal were established on September 3, 1959, during the presidency of Carlos P. Garcia, the Philippines did not immediately open a diplomatic mission in Portugal. Garcia's successor, Diosdado Macapagal, would sign an administrative order designating an embassy in Portugal on March 20, 1965, and nearly three months later on June 8, 1965, he announced that the Philippines would open a resident embassy in Lisbon later that year.
Macapagal's successor, Ferdinand Marcos, would subsequently order the Embassy's closure in 1974. While there was no resident embassy in Portugal, relations were conducted through an honorary consulate, led by Manuel Pinheiro, and the country was placed under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in Paris.
The Philippine Embassy in Lisbon was reopened in 2010, during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at around the same time new embassies were also opened in Finland, Ireland and Poland. Arroyo's successor, Benigno Aquino III, would later appoint Philippe J. Lhuillier, at the time serving at the Philippine Embassy in Rome as ambassador to Italy, as ambassador to Portugal, with Lhuillier assuming his post on October 8, 2012. In 2015, the Embassy's jurisdiction was expanded to include Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe, covering most of the Portuguese-speaking African countries.
After a massive expansion of the Philippines' diplomatic presence abroad during Arroyo's presidency, in 2010 Senator Franklin Drilon questioned the need for embassies in countries with small Filipino communities, including a number of countries in Europe, and called for a review of the Philippines' diplomatic presence worldwide. This would lead to the closure of ten posts under Aquino, which took effect by October 31, 2012. The closures were not without controversy: Victoria "Vickie" Villar, who led a protest march against the then-impending closure of the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt, demanded that the embassy in Lisbon be closed instead as there were fewer Filipinos in Portugal compared to Germany.
Staff and activities
The Philippine Embassy in Lisbon is currently headed by the Philippine ambassador to Portugal, Celia Anna M. Feria. Prior to becoming Ambassador, Feria, a career diplomat, served as the Chief of Protocol to President Aquino, later helping organize Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines in 2015, and was subsequently appointed by him to serve as ambassador to Spain on December 29, 2015, just over five months before the following year's presidential election.
The appointment was blocked a month later by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile while it was being debated by the Commission on Appointments (CA), reasoning that the appointment would be unfair to the incoming President who would be deprived of the opportunity to appoint whoever they may prefer. Although this reasoning was opposed by Drilon, at the time serving as Senate President, the CA ultimately bypassed her appointment on procedural grounds, and Feria returned to her previous position until she was then appointed by Aquino's successor, Rodrigo Duterte, as ambassador to Portugal on January 16, 2017, with her predecessor, Lhuillier, being appointed as ambassador to Spain. Feria's appointment, which would have been her first ambassadorial posting, was then confirmed by the CA on February 8, 2017, and she presented her credentials to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on June 7, 2017.
Many of the Embassy's activities are connected to deepening and strengthening cultural and economic ties between the Philippines and Portugal – ties which were described by Lhuillier as being "stale" and which ought to be revived. Among its activities include organizing an exhibition on the banig mats of Basey, facilitating a workshop on Philippine weaving traditions, hosting a round table discussion on Portugal as an investment destination for Philippine businesses, and promoting the Philippines as a tourist destination.
In addition to these activities, the Embassy also conducts welfare activities for the community of Filipinos in Portugal, including warning Filipinos against non-existent scam job listings in Portugal, and registering Filipino seafarers based in the country as voters in upcoming elections.
- "Official Week in Review: August 30 – September 5, 1959". Official Gazette. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
President Garcia today stated that the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Portugal opens brighter prospects and opportunities for advancing economic and cultural ties between the two countries. The President made this statement after the presentation of credentials of Dr. Emilio Patricio as minister-designate of Portugal to the Philippines. The ceremony was held this afternoon at the Malacañang ceremonial hall.
- "Administrative Order No. 116, s. 1965". Official Gazette. March 20, 1965. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
- "Official Week in Review: June 6 – June 12, 1965". Official Gazette. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
PRESIDENT Macapagal receives the credentials of Ambassador Antonio Novais Machado of Portugal who succeeded Ambassador Fernando Lobao de Carvalho. In response to the speech made by the new Portuguese envoy, the President states that the existing ties between the Philippines and Portugal will be strengthened and that a resident mission will soon be established in Lisbon.
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