With the recent addition of the Republic of Malta as one of the countries under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in Rome, the Embassy conducted its first-ever outreach mission to Malta from March 21 to 2. The mission was organized in cooperation and in close coordination with Mr. Kevin Attard, the nominated consular officer a.h. in Malta. The 11-man Embassy team was led by Minister and Consul General Leila Lora-Santos and included a Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) team led by Labor Attache, Atty. Viveca Catalig.
The mission, comprising of both the Consular and POLO team, serviced around 500 Filipinos, with 172 e-passports renewed, 34 affidavit/special power of attorney (SPAs) notarized, 62 documents authenticated, 18 marriages and 6 births reported and 2 dual citizenship applications processed. Attached is the matrix (Attachment A) on the consular services rendered during the outreach. The POLO team verified 72 employment contracts, 8 Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)/Exit Pass and 58 Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership. Noteworthy during the mission was the presence of a substantial number of Maltese employers who took the opportunity of the outreach to meet and discuss with Labor Attaché Atty. Viveca Catalig labor-related concerns as well as to verify the employment contracts, executed with their Filipina carers.
Other highlights of the outreach were (i) the chance to meet with members of the Filipino community in Malta and some of its leaders such as Veronica Ugates of Filipino Community in Malta, Mona Robong of FOCOWIM (Filipino Overseas Contract Workers in Malta) and Jennifer Caleya of the Filipino Migrants in Malta (FMM); (ii) the briefing provided by Mr. Paul Falzon on the status of Filipino seafarers onboard Lady Bug B, and his efforts to assist in their payment of wages and eventual repatriation; and (iii) the receipt of accountable documents/paraphernalia from the former Philippine consulate officer in Malta, Ms. Sara Grech.
Press release courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs, 08 April 2014.