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Philippine Consulate Support Office opens in San Jose

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios on Friday led the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Philippine Consulate Support Office at Sun Palace Hotel in San Jose.

Joining Torres and Palacios were  Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao, Sen. Vinnie Sablan, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, Rep. Joseph Leepan Guerrero, Rep. Edmund Villagomez, Rep. Ivan Blanco, Tan Holdings Corp. president and CEO Jerry Tan and Honorary Philippine Consul to the CNMI Glicerio DM Arago.

The acting head consul of the Philippine Consulate General on Guam, Mark Francis C. Hamoy, attended via teleconference.

Rev. Fr. Jason Granado, rector of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral, led the invocation and blessed the office.

Also present were other members of the diplomatic missions in the CNMI representing Japan, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as members and officers of Filipino and other community organizations.

In his remarks, the governor thanked members of the Filipino community for their commitment and contributions to the local economy, and for continuing “to make CNMI your home.”

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, third right, and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, second left, join Philippine Honorary Consul Eli Arago in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the Philippine Consulate Support Office at the Sun Palace Hotel in San Jose on Friday. Also in the photo are Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, left, and Tan Holdings Corp. president and CEO Jerry Tan. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

Arago thanked all the consulate’s “partners and friends who stood by our side throughout these years,” especially the governor and U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan.

On behalf of the Filipino people and the Philippine government, Arago also expressed his deepest appreciation to Tan Holdings Corp. president and CEO Jerry Tan “who stood by my side throughout the past five years that the Philippine Honorary Consulate Office was established.”

He said Tan, Tan Holdings and the Tan Siu Lin Foundation “helped us carry forward our voluntary work for the last five years.”

“With the support and guidance of our Consulate General in Hagåtña, Jerry Tan helped us deliver our mission with ease, one less challenge at a time. He was there in helping us provide assistance during the aftermath of Super Typhoons Soudelor and Yutu,” Arago said.

He noted that there are about 10,000 Filipino workers in the CNMI, and they and their dependents  need to avail themselves of consular services. 

He promised to continue to work hard as Philippine honorary consul, and, as he mentioned before, “I can only do so much if I do not have your support. I need all of you.”

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