|Philippine Embassy Closes To Move To New Address|
The Philippine Embassy along Jalan Tutong, will be closed for three days from today (Wednesday), as it will be moving to its new permanent address at Simpang 336, Diplomatic Enclave, Jalan Kebangsaan in Bandar Seri Begawan.
It will open next Tuesday (August 2) at the new site behind the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports Building, the Philippine Embassy said.
To get to the new Philippine Embassy, those coming from Bandar Seri Begawan can take either Purple Bus Number 36 or Number 38, before being dropped off after the second traffic light after the Immigration & National Registration Department Building.
Simpang 336 is on the right, going to the Diplomatic Enclave, while on the left is the route going to the International Convention Centre (ICC) and the Indoor Stadium.
The Philippine Embassy said a request to build a shaded bus stop for pedestrians going to the Diplomatic Enclave, where the Indonesian and Malaysian Embassies are located, has been made with the government authorities.
During the embassy's three-day closure this week, urgent embassy matters can be attended to by calling the Labor Attache at 8741972, Labor/OWWA hotline at 8830933, or Consular/Legal Matters hotline at 8714881.
When Philippine Foreign Minister Blas F Ople opened the Philippine Embassy on January 2003 at a rented, two-storey blue tiled and white walled private residence on Jalan Tutong, "it was the first time that a ceremony marking the transfer of the Embassy Chancery has been done since Philippine-Brunei relations were established in 1984", said then-Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Virginia H Benavidez.
The Philippine Government was able to acquire two lots in the Diplomatic Enclave, where the Philippine Embassy Chancery, designed by world-class architectural firm Palafox, and built by a local contractor, she said.
"Palafox Associates, with its world-class stature and extensive experience in Islamic and other forms of architecture, would be the best architect to project the Filipino design of the Chancery in accordance with the latest environmentally compliant forms and styles and to combine the aesthetic surroundings in an Islamic country like Brunei," said Ambassador-Designate to New Zealand, Benavidez.
"Since the area is fully developed with roads, lighting and other facilities and given the fact that it is in a prestigious and secure location (near the government ministries and the Legislative Council), we consider it a prime property where Philippine representation can be highlighted," she added.
When the Philippines and Brunei established diplomatic relations in 1984, the Philippine Embassy was located at Number 473, Kg Pelambayan in Kota Batu.
On February 14, 1989, it moved to the 4th and 5th floors of the Badia'h Building in Seri Complex, Mile 1, Jalan Tutong, "to make it more accessible to Filipino overseas workers who had to take a taxi to the old embassy premises, since there was no public bus going there", said then-Ambassador Eusebio Abaquin.
Mrs Benavidez initiated the transfer of the embassy in January 2003 from the Badia'h Building on Mile 1, Jalan Tutong to the site it is vacating from today to move to its permanent building, which was inaugurated by Philippine President Benigno Aquino during his State Visit to Brunei last June.