The Philippines inaugurated last week the Consulate General in South Korea's Busan city, home of thousands of Filipino families and workers, with Dr. An Sang-wook as the Honorary Consul General.
"I am pleased and proud that we have chosen none other than Dr. An Sang-wook to head our mission here," said Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul S. Hernandez, who led An's oath of office.
Apart from Busan, Korea’s second biggest city, Honorary Consul General An will be responsible for the special metropolitan areas of Ulsan, Daegu, Gwangju as well as the provinces of South Gyeongsang, South Jeolla, and Jeju Island.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Consulate General in Busan is authorized to perform the following services:
- issue visas to non-restricted foreign nationals, - authenticate Korean documents for use in the Philippines, - certify driver’s licenses from the Land Transport Office (LTO) that have been authenticated by the DFA, - facilitate the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) fingerprinting process, and - certify students’ documents that have been authenticated by the Commission for Higher Education and the DFA.
"The future is bright for Philippine-Korean relations, as the potential contribution of the mission here in Busan to our bilateral relations is far from inconsiderable," Hernandez told some 120 guests at the inauguration ceremony held on January 28 at Busan's north central Gumjeong District
Philippine-born Rep. Jasmine Lee of Korea's National Assembly characterized the opening of the Philippine Consulate General in Busan as "meaningful since Busan is the most active city in the international exchanges among local municipalities and became a hub-city for ASEAN-KOREA relations after ASEAN-KOREA Commemorative Summit."
Representing Busan Mayor Suh Byung-soo, Hong Seonghwa, Ambassador for International Relations of Busan Metropolitan City, said the new Consulate General’s opening marks the 5th anniversary of the sisterhood ties between Busan and Cebu.
For this, Busan will invite teachers and students from Cebu for educational training in May and will further organize training sessions on agriculture and urban development for Cebu-based civil servants.
"Busan pledges to exert utmost to support the success of the Philippine Consulate General," Hong emphasized.
There are 5,000 Filipino multicultural families and migrant workers in Busan. —KBK, GMA News