- Special Pages
Philippine Ambassador Crescente R Relacion and Khalid Abdullah Al Aulaiteen, Vice-Chairman of Al Sulaiteen Group, opening the Philippine Embassy building in Jelaiah area, yesterday. Yassin Aman Mohamed, General Manager of Al Sulaiteen Group and other officials are also seen. Right: The embassy staff and guests singing the national anthem. (Kammutty VP)
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: The soon to be signed agreement for reciprocal promotion and protection of investment between Qatar and the Philippines could boost investments between the two countries, Philippine Ambassador Crescente R Relacion said.
During the visit of the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to the Philippines last year, a number of memoranda of understanding were signed including one on investment which included a plan to establish a $1bn joint investment fund.
“With the signing of the agreement on reciprocal protection and promotion of investment, the $1bn joint investment would materialise and expedited,” Ambassador Relacion said yesterday during the formal inauguration of the new Philippine chancery.
As the title of the agreement suggests, it would assure both parties’ investments would be protected and thus encourage more investments from both sides, he added.
Since the embassy moved to a new location in January, it has accommodated more people availing of various consular services.
“On the first working day we processed 200 passports for the first time. We used to process around 100 to 120 passports a day at the former embassy,” said Relacion adding, “it’s not really the volume but the comfort that the people experience that matters.”
The new embassy located on Street No. 860, Zone 68, Jelaiah area, has more space where people can comfortably wait while their requests are being processed.
Compared to the previous embassy premises which only had two areas for consular services, the new building has separate halls for various services such as passport processing, assistance to nationals and visa processing.
Four more staff have also joined the embassy to beef up consular department, the ambassador added.
Meanwhile, Relacion said a joint commission meeting on labour matters would be held within this month.
The meeting, he said, is an annual meeting between Qatar and the Philippines, which first took place in 2009 in Bohol, Philippines.
Representatives from the Department of Labour and Employment and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration are coming to Qatar to discuss labour issues with their counterparts.
The meeting would address concerns from both sides on the deployment of Filipino workers including the issue on household service workers, he said.
Specifically the issue on the $400 minimum wage for household service workers would probably be on the agenda.