(Eagle News) – The Embassy of Poland in Manila recently opened its new office at Taguig City, rendering essential consular and diplomatic services to Filipinos and Polish citizens alike amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chargé d’affaires Jaroslaw Szczepankiewicz said that the embassy’s new office, located at the Bonifacio Global Center, was the venue for the recently concluded Polish presidential elections.
“How to do elections during the lockdown? It was very complicated,” Szczepankiewicz shared, revealing that Polish citizens in the Philippines voted either by physically casting their ballots at the embassy or via correspondence or post.
He thanked the Philippine government for its support, sharing that despite the delays and the challenges, they were able to have 75 percent participation rate during the elections.
“It was also thanks to the Philippine government that they allowed us to carry the elections,” Szczepankiewicz said.
The Chargé d’Affaires also commended the fast and efficient coordination with the Philippine government in organizing the rescue flight for Polish citizens stranded in the country due to the pandemic.
He said that while it normally takes two weeks to authorize a rescue flight, in this case, the process took only two days.
“The organization of such flight its quite complicated…but happily the cooperation with Secretary Locsin, Secretary Lorenzana was very quick, fast, and efficient, so we managed to solve all the problems,” he added.
– Investment and defense cooperation –
With the opening of the new office, Szczepankiewicz said he looks forward to further cooperation with the Philippine government, especially in terms of defense and investments.
“The good example of cooperation between Poland and Philippines is the defense sector. In 2019 we signed a contract…for the delivery of 16 helicopters to the Filipino air forces,” Szczepankiewicz said.
He added that they are now working to provide the Philippine Air Force with six armed Sikorsky aircrafts, which he believes will be a big contribution to the defense capabilities of the country.
“I admire that with the budget limitation the Filipino army is still progressing with the improvement of the defensive capacities,” he observed.
Also being finalized is the implementation agreement to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine’s Department of Defense and Poland’s Ministry of Defense.
Szczepankiewicz said that the agreement “will open a lot of possibilities to cooperate in terms of the government to government in defense sector.”
As to investments, the Chargé d’Affaires said he hopes to attract more Polish investors to the Philippines, in addition to the Pietrucha Group which is operating at the Bataan Economic Zone.
The first Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Manila was established on May 2, 1938, with the appointment of Frederic Edward Zuellig, as Honorary Consul.
The new offices of the Polish Embassy in Manila is located at 9/F Del Rosario Law Center 21st Drive Cor. 20th Drive Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City . It may be contacted via trunkline +632 53182700, or visit their website (https://www.gov.pl/web/philippines) or Facebook page (PLinPhilippines).
Clients wishing to avail of passport or consular services are advised to observe customer service rules (https://www.gov.pl/web/philippines/customer-service-rules-in-the-covid-19-epidemics-situation?fbclid=IwAR0FbEEULkxa1a8mZxsJl1bzwp9xkA4kd-5fBrRKoqWWkePncUSMgpqqcdE) in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eagle News Service