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PIA Press Release

PGMA guests at DFA's 112th Anniversary

Manila (1 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will grace today the 112th founding anniversary of the Department of Foreign Affairs at the new DFA-Office of Consular Affairs [OCA] building inside the Aseana Business Park along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Parañaque City.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo will lead DFA officials and employees in welcoming the Chief Executive.

Romulo will open the anniversary program with a welcome remarks and overview of DFA history and accomplishments. He will also present to the President the results of retrospective seminar on key accomplishments in foreign affairs including investments.

The President will confer presidential awards and commendations to DFA officials and receive DFA books on "Protecting Overseas Filipinos and Promoting their Welfare, the Highest Priority; Peace through Interfaith Dialogue?Philippine Diplomacy and the Promotion of Mutual Understanding, Respect and Tolerance and Pasaporte: A Journey of 100 Years."

The six-chapter book on overseas Filipinos contain captivating photos and texts that illustrate efforts of President Arroyo in protecting the rights of OFWs abroad. The President is a known "hands-on" when it comes to saving the lives of OFWs in foreign death rows and other penal institutions.

The book also provides accounts on the enormous task of protecting the country's modern-day heroes undertaken by the Arroyo administration through the active assistance of Vice President Noli de Castro, Secretary Romulo and Labor Secretary Marianito Roque.

Another book, "Peace Through Interfaith Dialogue: Philippine Diplomacy and the Promotion of Mutual Understanding, Respect and Tolerance" pays tribute to the outstanding work DFA men and women in bringing interfaith dialogues into the mainstream of international relations and peace advocacies.

The book prominently features the Philippines as the leader in this new area of international cooperation particularly its work in the United Nations and the country's hosting of the Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Pleace and the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace launched in New York in 2006.

The Philippines hosted last March the Special Non Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development which was participated by 124 country delegations, where the Philippines scored a major diplomatic feat and created a great degree of goodwill among the participants.

Many have commended the Manila Declaration and Program of Action on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development which spells out the way forward for cooperation in the years to come.

The book "Pasaporte" tracks the evolution of the passport system while telling the story of the Filipino people's journey to nationhood. The first of its kind, this book presents rare documents and vivid photos of the remarkable facets of Philippine history and how the DFA succeeded in providing Filipinos with modern facilities and expeditious processing befitting their world-class stature.

Pasaporte ends with the transfer of the DFA's office for consular services from the old DFA building to its new state of the art home in the Aseana Business Park. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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