Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Philippine Embassy Abu Dhabi
It would be an understatement of epic proportions to say that the the Philippine Embassy – Abu Dhabi, UAE is one of the busiest satelite offices of the Philippine government. There is close to a million Filipinos in all of the UAE, and the Philippine Embassy is there to address the entire length and breadth of their concerns, from consular services to labor issues, social welfare to cultural upliftment. The Embassy collaborates with over 51 professional and non-professional groups in pushing for government initiatives that serve the interests of UAE-based OFW’s, as well cater to the needs of OFW families and communities back home. “I remember when Typhoon Haiyan struck in November 2013, I was in-charge of monitoring the situation and coordinated with the FilCom here in Abu Dhabi by providing them advisories,” says Vice Consul Rowena Pangilinan-Daquipil. “I coordinated with groups who wanted to extend assistance. I also had to constantly communicate with the Department for those Filipinos in Abu Dhabi who were trying to reach out to their families in the affected areas.”
The Philippine Embassy also works on assisting Filipinas who are undocumented and are temporarily staying in the Embassy’s MWOFRC (Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center). “It is always very rewarding whenever we are able to arrange their repatriation back to the Philippines and be with their families,” Vice Consul Daquipil adds. “I sometimes receive a letter from some we have assisted and this touches my heart. I sometimes get messages on Facebook from those we have repatriated saying that they are very thankful for all our assistance.”
The Philippine Embassy in the UAE led by outgoing Ambassador Grace Relucio Princesa, Consul Maria Roseny Fangco and Vice Consul Rowena Daquipil, with incoming Ambassador Constancio Vingno Jr. joining soon as the new Head of Post, maintains strong and active relations with key Filipino community groups, often calling upon their support to promote and energize various activities and causes designed to foster the spirit of unity and camaraderie amongst the Filipinos in the UAE. Media relations also figure highly in the Embassy’s list of priorities, as it is a powerful tool in reaching out to Filipinos scattered all across the seven emirates.