It's been almost two years since the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco last held its consular outreach in the state of Washington. Because of the pandemic, all consular outreach services under its jurisdiction were postponed.
But recently San Francisco's new Consul General Neil Ferrer and other officers spent four days in Seattle and successfully assisted close to 2,000 Filipinos in Washington with their consular needs, ranging from passport applications and renewals to dual citizenships.
Ferrer said that they've taken steps to make it easier for Fil-Ams to get the help they need. "We have increased our capacity. We are open everyday. We have added additional appointments. We have conducted Saturday's special services," said the diplomat.
Ferrer added that the new appointment system found on the Philippine Consulate website has been updated and that part of their consular mission is to go out of their way to assist those with special needs. "Meron kaming prinocess na 100 year old. Dahil hirap na siyang makapunta dito... after the whole processing here, pupuntahan namin siya sa bahay for her to take the oath (We processed the case of a 100-year-old. Since she was having a hard time coming here... after the whole processing here, we will go to her house so she can take the oath), " shared Ferrer.
Fil-Ams in Washington are grateful that consular outreach efforts are back, especially because they want to register for the 2022 Philippine presidential election.
The Philippine Consulate's next consular outreach will be held in Anchorage, Alaska, from August 25 to 28, and in Portland, Oregon from September 8 to 11.