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Philippine Embassy in Singapore holds Third Filipino Community Leaders’ Meeting
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Vice Consul Laarni Zorayda S. Gandarosa, Head of the Consular Section, gives advisory on the authentication or legalization of documents

The Philippine Embassy’s regular Filipino Community Leaders Meeting, the third for the year was held on 21 July 2019. The FilCom meeting presented the results of the Philippines’ 2019 National Election, Embassy events and activities implemented during the second quarter (April-June 2019), consular and personal security advisories for the community, and events planned for the third quarter (July-September).

Defense Attaché Colonel Virgilio Luna also presented the Philippine Government’s program and task force to end the local communist armed conflict (ELCAC).

Among the highlights of the Embassy’s second-quarter events which were presented were the conduct of the overseas voting for the 2019 National Election (13 April – 13 May) and commemorative events for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Philippine-Singapore bilateral relations: the joint launch of commemorative postage stamps by Philippine Postal Corporation and Singapore Post (16 May), the arrival of two Philippine Eagles on 10-year loan to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (4 June), Filipino Food Fiesta at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel (22 to 30 June), concert by the Madrigal singers at Esplanade (23 June), the unveiling of the restored Pacita Abad artwork on Alkaff Bridge (12 July), reading of Philippine folktales at the National Library (4 May), and the planting of five Philippine Narra saplings at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park (17  July).

The commemoration of the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence in June, which was celebrated in Singapore by the annual Philippine National Day Reception on 14 June held at the St Regis Hotel, Independence Day flag-raising ceremony at the Embassy on 12 June, and a four-page Philippine National Day supplement in the Business Times on 12 June (an undertaking by the Filipino business community in Singapore and Singapore companies were also presented.

The Embassy reported to the community leaders that the Philippines had acceded to the Apostille Convention, which implements the apostille system of legalizing documents for use in countries that are members of the Hague Apostille Convention. As Singapore is not a member of the Apostille Convention, the Embassy will continue to do authentication of documents for use in the Philippines. In addition, the Embassy announced that all Philippine embassies and consulates have ceased to use the red satin ribbon in their authentication certificates.

The Embassy also reiterated the warning of the Singapore Police Force against the resurgence in Singapore of lucky draw scams. The Embassy also advised the community to perform due diligence on enterprises that they plan to invest in, as some Filipinos have filed cases against companies that reneged on their return-on-investment obligations.

In his participation, Defense Attaché Colonel Virgilio Luna explained that the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, National Democratic Front) have been declared as terrorist organizations. The CPP-NPA-NDF work with certain NGOs that claim to be involved in social service, development, and disaster assistance missions, but are in fact fronts to raise funds that are diverted to purchase weapons, ammunition, equipment, and supplies for terrorist operations.

The next Filipino Community Leaders’ meeting will be scheduled on 15 September or 22 September 2019.

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