Davao, President’s turf, is also the new ‘mecca’ for consulate offices

DAVAO CITY—The People’s Republic of China has established its own consulate general here, while Japan has upgraded its consular office, bringing to four the “career” consulates operating in this city, a top-ranking executive of the Department of Foreign Affairs  here said.

China has designated Mr. Li Lin as its consul general, a position that accords the designated officer the important functions in the embassy, said Foreign Assistant Secretary for Mindanao, Robert O. Ferrer.

Its consulate general here was the first to be established outside of the national capital, making it “historic” for China, he added.

Japan, on the other hand, has its own diplomatic upgrading from its erstwhile status of being a consular office of the Embassy of Japan to a consulate general, Ferrer also told a regular Monday news conference at the SM Ecoland here.

“That makes it four regular, or career, consulate offices in Davao,” he said.

Aside from the two countries, Indonesia and Malaysia had long maintained their consulate general offices, catering to the sizeable Indonesian and Malaysian communities here.

Ferrer said the twin moves of China and Japan indicate the growing importance of the city in the consular operations of the two countries, aside from having a big population of their nationals living or working here.

Davao City has claimed to have the largest Chinatown area in the Philippines, tour guides routinely tell visitors.

Ferrer, however, said it was not about the current President Duterte being a resident here and holding office during the end of the week and most of his weekends. “China and other countries have long thought about it, not only for about one of two years,” he said

The upgraded consulate of China and Japan would allow their nationals to apply or renew their passports, apply for a visa and other travel documents, as well as other important documents.

 

 

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Manuel Cayon has written about Mindanao for several national newspapers for more than two decades, the most part of it on conflict-reporting, and on the political, insurgency and civil rights front. He also scribbles on the religious and human rights issues for the Thailand-based Catholic news agency as well as he strings for several wire agencies. His stint with then TODAY newspaper started his business reporting obtaining in Mindanao, continuing to this day with BusinessMirror. He received citations and awards, including two Biotechnology awards for reporting. He was a fellow of the US International Visitors’ Program Leadership in 2007 on conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution. He attended college at the Mindanao State University and the Ateneo de Davao University

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