House Assistant Majority Leader and Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles has questioned the plan to shut down at least 10 Philippine embassies and consulates due to alleged budgetary constraints.
Nograles noted that all funding for these diplomatic posts are all presumed to have been provided with adequate allocation through the 2012 General Appropriations Act.
"How can there be a budgetary problem in operating these consular offices when all funding requirement are pre-allocated through the annual GAA? We are perhaps the most dispersed race in the entire planet and it’s a crying shame that instead of expanding our diplomatic presence, we are shutting them down," Nograles said in response to the DFA announcement that at least 10 Philippine embassies and consulates will be closed down this year because of budgetary constraints.
Nograles said this plan to shut down diplomatic posts is a move that absolutely puts the country in bad light. This, he added, is apart from the fact that it would even make it more difficult for many Filipinos who have problems in their host countries to seek help from the government.
Nograles said the country even needs to increase the number of its consular offices to ensure that Filipinos who are in nearly every corner of the globe can easily secure help from the government when necessary.
Nograles noted that no less than Palau President Johnson Toribiong has reportedly expressed concern about this plan of the the DFA as he even allegedly asked President Benigno Aquino III to reconsider the government’s decision to shut down the Philippine Embassy in his country.
"If budget is an issue, the best thing to do is to simply ask Congress if they need additional funding. If it’s justified and it is for the country’s best interest, I’m sure the DFA will have no problem seeking our support," Nograles said.