25 April 2012- As part of the Philippine Embassy in Rome’s mandate to strengthen Philippine-Italian linkages, Philippine Ambassador to Italy Virgilio A. Reyes, Jr. went on an official visit to Palermo, Sicily last April 21 and 22.
Accompanied by Honorary Consul Domenicò Marciano, the Ambassador was accorded courtesies by the region’s government and met with Acting Mayor of Palermo and Prefect of Vibo Valentia Luisa Latella at the Palazzo delle Aquile.
Ambassador Reyes also met with Minister Caterina Chinnici, a well-regarded judge and the Regional Minister for Local Government and Public Service. Minister Chinnici was officially delegated by the President of Sicily, the Honorable Raffaele Lombardo, to meet the Ambassador to discuss possible cooperation in tourism, Public-Private Partnership, and culture.
The official visit also included a meeting with Dott. Antonio Di Liberto, the Director General of the Departments Union for the Policies of Social Health. Dr. Di Liberto is part of the Associazioni Cristiane dei Lavoratori Italiani (ACLI), which provided the venue for this consular outreach mission. ACLI President Toni Costumati visited the venue and met the Ambassador and other Embassy personnel.
Accompanying the Ambassador was a nine-man consular and overseas absentee voting (OAV) registration team, headed by Consul General Grace Cruz-Fabella.
The team rendered outreach services to Filipinos in Sicily and attended to some 757 Filipinos, with 340 electronic passport (ePassport) applications processed and 18 Reports of Birth issued.
Other services, such as processing of applications for marriage and dual citizenship, urgent extensions of validity of passports, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances, authentications of documents, and counselling services, were also provided.
The team also registered 323 new voters from the region.
Representatives of the Philippine Overseas Labor (POLO), led by Labor Attaché Atty. Viveca Catalig, were also present to provide information and services as well as to promote membership in the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Social Security System, and Pag-IBIG Fund.
The Ambassador also received the courtesy call of the visiting U-13 Philippine National team dubbed “Little Azkals” of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), led by their coaching staff and team manager Rachel Genco.
The “Little Azkals” are in Palermo on a 20‐day training camp from April 20 to May 10 in cooperation with Mr. Nicolò Ferrante and the Director General and Technical Director of the A.S.D. Sport Village Tommaso Natale.
The Ambassador’s official visit and the Embassy’s consular mission to Palermo were successfully accomplished with the help of Philippine Honorary Consul in Reggio Calabria Domenico Marcianò, Mr. Armand Curameng of the Philippine Don Bosco Palermo, and leaders and other volunteers from the community. According to the Filipino community, it was the first visit to Palermo by a Philippine Ambassador in decades.