Filipino Diplomats in the Middle East
Alfonso Ferdinand Agbayani Ver
Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain
Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain, Alfonso Ver brings with him a wealth of experience in Foreign Service before his first ambassadorial posting in the country. His first foreign assignment was as Vice Consul, then promoted to Consul, in Guam (1996 to 2002). He later became First Secretary and Consul General, then Minister, Consul General and Deputy Head of Mission, in Ankara, Turkey (2005 to 2009), before he moved to San Francisco, USA as Consul then Deputy Consul General (2009 2012). At the Department of Foreign Affairs, he was Executive Director of the Office of Personnel and Administrative Services (2012 to 2015). As the head of the 60,000 strong Filipino community in Bahrain, the Ambassador has made his people’s welfare integral in his function.
H.E. Adnan V. Alonto
Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
As the Philippine Ambassador to Riyadh, H.E. Adnan Villaluna Alonto is a fervent advocate for the welfare of OFWs. Apart from endeavoring to strengthen the bilateral ties between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Alonto ensures that the rights and interests of almost a million Filipinos based in the kingdom are protected and promoted.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Saudi and the Philippines, 2019 is a significant year for the Filipino community in the kingdom. During this particular year, the embassy, through Ambassador Alonto’s leadership, will seek to underscore the benefits of the two countries’ long-standing history, as well as highlight opportunities to further strengthen their ties through mutually beneficial economic and cultural exchanges, all the while ensuring the smooth and continuous delivery of the Embassy’s services to Filipino expatriates in the Kingdom.
Ambassador Alonto quotes from the Holy Qur’an that “Verily, Allah will not change the condition of the people as long as they do not change what is in themselves.” As such, Ambassador Alonto strongly believes that unless we instill in ourselves the values of love of country, mutual compassion, and a work ethic towards the common good, the Philippines and its people will not be able to reap the real benefits of national development, shared prosperity and established nationhood.
Consul General Ed Badajos
Philippine Consul General to Jeddah
Galvanizing diplomatic ties between the Philippines and the Saudi Arabia, Philippine Consul General to Jeddah Ed Badajos is aiming to revitalize and strengthen the Consulate’s economic diplomacy work by leveraging the presence of the Philippine Trade Office and Investment Center (PTIC) in Jeddah, the kingdom’s financial nerve center. He also hopes to implement more projects to promote Philippine tourism in the country.
Con Gen Ed, who was lauded for uniting community organizations to form the very first Filipino Community Organizing Council (FCOC) during his previous tenure in Bangkok, has launched some projects for Filipinos in Saudi. These include the first post-arrival orientation seminar for newly-arrived OFWs and a contact center that administers Assistance to Nationals, and addresses general consular inquiries. In September, the Consulate and the Social Welfare Attache (SWATT) also launched the Huwarang Overseas Pamilyang Pilipino Award, honoring exemplary OFW families in the region. Through SWATT, the consulate has implemented a mandatory interview procedure for the employers of Filipino household workers – with the objective of protecting the welfare of Filipinos.
A firm believer that Filipinos are significant contributors towards the global economy, the Con Gen shares, “Our country has, indeed, made significant strides from a fledgling republic at the turn of the century to a vibrant democracy and one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.” In sustaining this momentum, he advises: “Develop an even higher sense of patriotism and be more willing to set aside your differences when it is the very survival of our nation that is at stake.”
Chargé D’Affaires Mohammed Noordin Pendolina Lomondot
Philippine Chargé D’Affaires of Kuwait
Since the diplomatic crisis between the Philippines and Kuwait in 2018, the role of Philippine Chargé D’Affaires Mohammed Noordin Pendolina Lomondot has been particularly crucial. Driven to lead all efforts and initiatives the return to more than just restoration of diplomatic relations, but a state where both nations can thrive hand-in-hand together, CDA Lomondot shares, “Both countries worked hard to overcome the said crisis. While we have been successful, it still remains to be my hope and priority to lead all actions and efforts towards the return to normalcy and the further strengthening our bilateral relations.”
Armed with years of experience in the foreign service, CDA Lomondot expresses that above all of the attainments he has received as a diplomat, nothing beats being able to assist his countrymen. From his current and previous postings, he has helped repatriate more than ten-thousand Filipinos in distress under the amnesty programs of their host countries and provided significant assistance to nationals during instances of civil strife.
Pushing ahead to re-establish the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, the CDA stresses the importance of Filipinos being a mindful wherever they are: “We hope Filipino nationals working overseas, not just in Kuwait, continuously and faithfully abide by the laws, rules, and regulations of the Philippines and, especially, their host countries so they would neither lose their way nor encounter any problems with their work and/or residence status.”
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