Singapore, 2 March 2021-– Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 outbreak, year 2020 proved to be a productive year for the Philippine Embassy in Singapore.
This was the message of Philippine Ambassador to Singapore, Joseph del Mar Yap, in his report to the leaders of the Filipino community during his inaugural virtual meeting with them, dubbed “Ugnayan,” on 28 February 2021.
Notwithstanding restrictions on the movement of persons and social gatherings, Ambassador Yap explained that the Embassy made full use of modern communications technology and capitalized on its strong partnership with the Filipino community and the host country to deliver services to those in need of assistance.
Aside from providing emergency consular services during lockdowns, he said, the key achievements made by the Embassy involved the repatriation of more than 2,500 Filipinos affected by the pandemic, distribution of cash assistance and food packs, and facilitating the release and shipment to Manila of donations worth Php 600 million from the Singapore Government and Temasek Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Temasek Holdings, the state sovereign fund of Singapore.
The donations included RT-PCR test kits, personal protective equipment, and hospital grade lifesaving machines such as ventilators and oxygen concentrators, which are intended for Covid-19 patients in the Philippines.
In this time of pandemic, Ambassador Yap encouraged the members of the Filipino community in Singapore to stay vigilant amid the continuing threats to their personal health and safety and to stay connected with the Embassy through email, telephone and social media.
The officers of the various sections of the Embassy and attached agencies also presented their accomplishments for 2020, and shared their plans and programs for 2021.
During the Q&A, questions relating to the COVID-19 protocols to be observed by Filipinos returning to the Philippines, OWWA membership, overseas voting registration and passporting were discussed.
The virtual meeting with the Filipino Community has so far been viewed 7,500 times on the Embassy’s Facebook page.