Congress pushes for more embassies, consulates — Erbie PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 March 2013 11:52

The presence of a consulate in Sabah Malaysia, which has a sizeable Filipino community, could have averted the crisis in the neighboring country and  prevented the loss of lives of our countrymen.

This was the reaction of District 2 Rep. Erbie A. Fabian over the fighting in Sabah, Malaysia between Malaysian troopers and policemen and armed followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram in what is now known as the Sabbah crisis.

Cong. Fabian, a senior member of the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs, said this was precisely the point they will trying to avert after the committee were rushing pieces of legislation in the 15th Congress to address the need of putting up more embassies and consulates in parts of the world where there are big concentration of Filipinos living and working.

If there was a consulate office in Sabah, Malaysia, the situation could have been nipped in the bud and authorities could have acted with dispatch to avert the incident from getting into crisis proportions.

Officials in the consulate could have relayed back to the country the report on the entry of Sultan Kiram’s group which included armed followers and action could have been taken immediately.

Fabian added it is high time, Congress revisits bills pending seeking to put up more government offices abroad.

Many of our countrymen then were lamenting the lack of embassy personnel in key regions worldwide such as the middle east, parts of Europe and the North American sphere forcing many of our countrymen, who are mostly overseas workers to travel great distance to have their travel papers and documentations properly authenticated much to their discomfort and added expense.

“It is high time we provided our overseas Filipinos ample representation and protection as well as providing our government with the ability to react to fast changing international events by providing advanced information to our Foreign Affairs Office which in turn could aid our top leaders in decision making to avert similar crisis just like what is happening in Sabah right now,” Fabian said

The House of Represenatives is pushing for the setting up of more embassies and consular offices in this regard and we hope the measures we passed by way of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs of headed by Albay solon Al Francis Bicharra and myself as a senior member get the nod of our national leaders in the immediate future.

Fabian has co-authored some of the bills supporting the call for more govt. representations abroad which are now pending in Congress.