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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

 

SM Malls to host DFA’s consular offices soon

by Susan G. de Leon

MANILA, Jan. 17 (PIA) -- SM Malls will soon host consular offices as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) entered into Public-Private Partnership deal with SM Prime Holdings to bring its services closer to the people.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and SM Prime Holdings President Hans Sy yesterday signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the hosting in SM malls of five consular offices in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country.

In a news release, Secretary del Rosario said the PPP arrangements with SM will cover the transfer and hosting of existing consular offices in Davao, Baguio and Batangas and the opening of extension offices at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong and SM City in Manila, which will occupy a combined floor area of more than 3,400 square meters.

The government will generate more than P1 billion in savings over a period of ten years from the deal, as well as bring consular services closer to the public, del Rosario added.

The DFA had earlier entered into similar arrangements with Pacific Mall Corporation, Robinsons Land Corporation and Ayala Land Incorporated for the hosting of consular offices in 11 other locations nationwide.

The foreign secretary also said that in addition to the millions of pesos the government will be saving in the next 10 years, DFA’s partnership with SM and other friends in the private sector will allow the agency to extend consular services in modern, applicant-friendly settings at no cost to the Filipino taxpayer.

He also said that the opening of new consular offices at the SM Megamall and SM City in Manila will pave the way for the decongestion of the Office of Consular Affairs at the Aseana Business Park in Paranaque. (DFA/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

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