HOUSTON, TX — 25 years after it closed, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs is reopening the Philippine Consulate in Houston to allow it to serve the growing consular needs of the Filipino community in this part of the US.
“This is an indication of the commitment the Philippine government has in trying to do what they can for Filipinos and Filipino Americans who live here in the United States,” said Ambassador Jose Romualdez.
In 1993, budgetary constraints forced the decision to close the Consulate General’s office in Houston. Houston Filipinos and others in the region would have to fly to other Consulates in the US, such as those in Los Angeles and Chicago for needed services.
“We have over 200,000 Filipinos around here in the jurisdiction of Houston. We know it is a growing community and we have a lot of Filipinos wo are migrating here. Both Filipinos and Filipino Americans. So, you will see the commitment President Duterte and the Philippine government has in making sure that the first job is taking care of our Kababayans.”
Jerrill Santos is the new Philippine Consulate General in Houston — with six states including Texas; Arkansas; Louisiana; Mississippi; New Mexico; Oklahoma now under its jurisdiction.
“We bring our services to their doorstep. Rather than have them go to places like Chicago and Los Angeles. Now we are just minutes away from us and we are here to help them.”
The Consulate General will also provide assistance to distressed Filipino nationals, promote Philippine culture, and is shaping plans to strengthen economic ties between the Philippines and the South-Central US.
March 22nd was the official inaugural event for the new office. Honorary guests included Local Filipino leaders and members of the Consulate General Corps from across the US.
“Its been a long time coming for the Philippines, we are a very vibrant and growing community and it is a perfect time. The rise of the Philippines is happening here in Houston.”
After 25 years, the Philippine government is back in business in Texas.