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12/03/2014: PHILIPPINE CONSULATE CONDUCTS FIRST SEATTLE OUTREACH FOR 2014

Top photo: The Consulate-on-Wheels in action. Bottom photo: Collecting officer Mr. Ronilo Ferrer responding to a client’s follow-up query regarding his passport.

A seven-person team from the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco traveled north to Seattle, Washington, to conduct the first of four scheduled outreaches to the city in 2014. With almost 16,000 Filipinos in Seattle alone (Source: http://www.seattle.gov/oir/datasheet/demographics.htm) , the city has one of the most populous Filipino communities in the areas under the Consulate’s jurisdiction.

The three-day outreach, which was hosted by the Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS) in the Filipino Community Center, was attended by over 1,000 people. The team, headed by Consul Reichel Quiñones, reported that they had processed over 600 passport applications, 131 legal documents, 71 civil registry documents, and 119 applications for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.

Top Photo: Legal officer, Ms. Marilyn Castillo, attends to a client. Bottom Photo: COW Team, L to R: Ms. Marilyn Castillo, Consul Reichel Quiñones, Mr. Erwin Gret, Mr. Claro Cabuniag, Mr. Medel Cantoria, Mr. Leo Sarion, Mr. Ron Ferrer

Maraming salamat sa pagpunta ng COW [Consulate-on-Wheels] sa Seattle,” a client, Ms. Florence Valentin, said, after renewing her passport. “Di na kailangan pumunta pa sa San Francisco.

Acting Head of Post, Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon, expressed his appreciation for the continued support and cooperation of the Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS), which has hosted these outreaches for several years.

“The Consulate-on-Wheels/Wings is a regular program of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, in partnership with the local communities in the areas under our jurisdiction,” Deputy Consul General Ascalon explained “Since we serve such a large area, our community partners have proved invaluable in making our services more accessible to our clients.

“We know that in some cases, our kababayans may still need to travel to the outreach venues, so to make it easier for them to make the necessary arrangements, we publish our schedule of confirmed consular outreaches for the year on our website,” Deputy Consul General Ascalon stated. “Most of our outreaches are held on weekends, to make them even more accessible to our working kababayans.”

Due to the large number of Filipinos working and living in Washington State and surrounding areas, the Consulate holds at least 7 outreaches there a year – four in Seattle, three in Tacoma. The Consulate also recently announced the opening of a new outreach to Wapato, WA, which will be held from March 23-24 and is being hosted by the Filipino-American Community of the Yakima Valley.

The Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, through its COW Program, conducts regular annual outreaches to various locations in the ten states under its jurisdiction: Alaska, Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Northern Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

For more information on upcoming Consulate-on-Wheels outreaches, or to search for a COW coming to your area, visit http://www.philippinessanfrancisco.org/philippines-sf/consular-outreach-sf/ or follow the Consulate’s Facebook page on http://www.facebook.com/PCGSF.