Undersecretary Montales meets FILCOM Leaders in Vancouver

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Vancouver, 17 January 2018 – “Our marching orders from the President are to take care of our overseas Filipino workers,” Undersecretary Jose Luis G. Montales told leaders of the Filipino community in Vancouver at a reception held at the Philippine Consulate General in the evening of Tuesday, 16 January 2018.


Fresh from attending the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula, co-hosted by Canada and the US, at the Vancouver Convention Center on 15-16 January 2018, Undersecretary Montales addressed a group of Filcom leaders with whom he shared some of the recent reforms initiated by the Department under the present administration.


Among the achievements he highlighted were the increase in the Department’s budget for Assistance-to-Nationals and Legal Assistance Funds, setting up of an OFW portal to especially assist first-time workers abroad, improved passport appointment system that would increase the slots available to the public, launching of the Passport-on-Wheels, and opening up of additional nine consular offices to enable the Department to accommodate more applicants.  He added that they hoped to finish and implement an e-payment system for the Department by the first quarter of 2018.  Undersecretary Montales also announced the start of the 10-year validity for Philippine passports for applicants 18 years old and above.


In concluding his talk, he underlined that the Department is determined to finish the projects lined up for the further improvement of consular services.


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Ms. Mable Elmore, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing Vancouver-Kensington, was among the guests invited to the reception.  In brief remarks following the Undersecretary’s, she conveyed greetings from B.C. Premier John Horgan and commended the Consulate for its work in Vancouver.  She noted the growing Filipino-Canadian community and their valuable contributions in B.C. and across the country.  MLA Elmore, who is of Filipino descent, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Poverty Reduction and is co-chair of the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s Advisory Forum on Poverty Reduction.(END)