This is an eyewitness report from the NowPublic member Babel-Fish who was on the scene.
British Consul meeting Dumaguete City Philippines
Published for British ex-pats and tourist visiting the Philippines….
The day before yesterday I attended a meeting with the British Consul Joanne Finnamore-Corkin of whom explain how she and her department can help British citizens and their dependence visiting or in residence in the Philippines.
Evidently due to problems concerning fraud, concerning claims for British Passport application of children supposedly born in a Filipino British relationship. A short while ago there was an audit carried out by the British Government. The investigation reportedly found that 25% of the claims were illegal. So now at the end of this year provisions have been made to send all passport application to the British Embassy in Thailand after December this year. In my opinion that is because of the possibility that corruption as possibly been uncovered or believed to be a possibility within the Embassy it self? The embassy of course employs Filipino staff to administrate its departments, unfortunately the Philippines is known for it’s embedded corruption.
The new procedure will mean that passport applications and passport renewals will have to be sent to Thailand by carrier and the British Embassy will raise a courier change to those that use its services.
We where told that the British government seemingly wants to bring the issue and renewal of British passports home to United Kingdom. However it’s not sure, when this will be invoked, or, will ever be invoked in the near or far future.
The British Consul’s speech and open meeting was very well presented and interesting Joanne had chose the Bethel Guest House on Dumaguete City’s Rizal Boulevard, of whom supplied a wide range of delicious snacks and cold fruit punch drinks that was I am sure appreciated by all that attended.
Many of the British may have been surprised at the actual services that the embassy and consulates can provide. Some may of thought that financial and legal aid is given but that is just not so. However advice and general support and help in contacting those at home in the United Kingdom is always given. Some emphasis was given on registering with the British Embassy so if there is a crisis such as a national disaster you can be contacted and flown to safer nearby shores. British citizen details are protected by the data protection act so that means the tax office will never be informed where you are.
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This year has been an interesting year at the British Embassy in Manila there has been a change of Ambassadors of which could be due to the Visa mess under the rule of Peter Beckingham that seeming emulated from the new point system initiated by the British Government for those applying for Visa. It would seem that the problem over Visa’s wrongly refused or at least under question. Had invoked an audit, of all applications, that had then led to finding that passports had been issued incorrectly.
In my opinion this had led to distrust of Filipino employees within the embassy staff and the new passport arrangement that passports are now to be cleared by British employed nationals in Thailand to eradicate an attempt of corruption.
Sending in a new broom so to speak, the new Ambassador Stephen Lillie, Its of course the norm political ploy. When things fall apart, due to the administration at home that had issued
This politicking is now taking away a service that all United Kingdom all really need and require if we lose or our passports run out quick efficient service from our only representatives from our homeland. The embassy and consulates have over the years had to cull their services due to the expanded global tourist expansion.
I personally feel this new passport fiasco is ridiculous, I pay taxes for efficient public services of which should include those given whilst I am abroad. I can blame the embassy staff or the British consulate its really those daft socialist loonies running things at home.