MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of Filipinos based in Italy are said to be facing “identity problems” after the Italian government issued a circular restricting the use of the middle name of Filipinos in all their documents.
According to Manny Geslani, a recruitment industry expert, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a Circolare 29 in 2010 that only allows the first and surname to be used in their documents.
The Philippine Embassy, through former Ambassador to Italy Romeo Manalo, said to have concurred with the Circular with a note verbale.
“Much has been said about this issue and it is but proper now for the Philippine Government to clarify and rectify the error made by its emissary to Italy when it submitted to the Italian Government the Note Verbale dated August 27, 2010, leading to the issuance of the oppressive and discriminatory Circolare 29 and its implementation guidelines,” said Geslani.
He added overseas Filipino workers, through Bro. Junn Felix Mendoza Landicho, president of the Alyansang mga Filipino sa Italya, have requested for a dialogue with the current ambassador, Virgilio Reyes to rectify “this grievous “faux pas” that has put the Filipinos in a quandary and our OFWs should not be penalized therefore by the cost, difficulties and inconvenience involved in the process of amending their papers, documents, permits, employment contracts, as well as the expected benefits, and other claims, effects on their property rights and titles, effects on immigration of their relatives and families in Italy”.
The group wants the Department of Foreign Affairs to rescind the previous note verbale that disenfranchises hundreds of OFWs with the dropping of their names.
Geslani said the Philippine government should listen to the objections of the OFWs against the implementation of Circolare 29, through proper and appropriate representations to the Italian government, move to have the same revoked and cancelled, and allow Pinoys to use their middle names again.