|Thanksgiving Mass and OAV Registration held at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (COLA)|
The Philippine Embassy reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that a Thanksgiving Mass was held on 3 June 2012 at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (COLA) in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam to celebrate the 114th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence.
The Thanksgiving Mass is one of many events scheduled in the month of June to commerate the celebration of Philippine independence.
Later, a field registration was held at the COLA for the benefit of OFWs who would be eligible to participate as overseas absentee voters in the coming mid-term elections scheduled next year.
The Thanksgiving Mass, conducted in Filipino, was celebrated by Bishop Cornelius Sim, the current Vicar Apostolic of the Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam.
Speech of Ambassador Nestor Z. Ochoa. In his speech before members of the Filipino Community, Ambassador Nestor Z. Ochoa enumerated the significant developments in his first year as Philippine envoy to the Sultanate:
“The visit of President Aquino led to the signing of the following agreements:
Memorandum of Agreement on Shipping and Ports;
Memorandum of Understanding on Sports Cooperation;
Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation; and
The Philippine Embassy will closely monitor the implementation of these agreements to bolster bilateral relations between the two countries,” he added.
“The new Chancery is a symbol of the close ties between the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam; furthermore, plans for Phase 2 of the construction of the new Embassy have already been submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs for approval,” he added.
“Fees for consular services have been lowered by more than 17 per cent beginning May 2012, which should be welcome news for all OFWs and their families,” he noted.
The start of the registration period for the Overseas Absentee Voting
Ambassador Ochoa urged members of the Filipino Community to actively participate in the coming mid-term elections in May 2013 by registering as Overseas Absentee Voters. “A registration counter will be opened by the Philippine Embassy from 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the nearby Conference Room to enable all eligible Filipino nationals to register for the coming polls scheduled for next year,” he stated.
The Philippine Embassy’s support for fund-raising activities for victims of Typhoon Sendong
“I am proud to report that fund raising activities collected B$19,500 in cash donations, which were later sent to the National Disaster Coordination Risk Reduction Council on 16 April 2012,” Ambassador Ochoa stated. He added that this “amount does not include donations in kind sent to the Philippines in January 2012 and the collection gathered through the Humanitarian Fund for the Victims of Tropical Storm Washi established by the Brunei Government.
Ambassador Ochoa thanked all those who generously helped the victims of Typhoon Sendong, particularly the Government of Brunei Darussalam.
Noting the current tensions between the Philippines and China over the Scarborough Shoal, Ambassador Ochoa urged members of the Filipino Community to close ranks and be united in supporting our government’s efforts in achieving a peaceful solution to the matter.
“Now is the time to show our patriotism for our beloved country,” he urged.
Ambassador Ochoa concluded his speech by urging members of the Filipino Community “to continue praying for peace, for our country, and for our people.”
Immediately after the mass, a fellowship was held at the Parish Hall to celebrate the 30th Founding Anniversary of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) at the Parish Hall, while an OAV field registration was a held at the nearby Conference Room.
As part of their itinerary in Brunei Darussalam, members of GMA 7’s program entitled Motorcycle Diaries ni Jay Taruc documented the Filipino Community gathering at the COLA. Mr. Jay Taruc, host of the said TV program, interviewed Ambassador Ochoa and other members of the Filipino Community during the event. END
Ambassador Nestor Z. Ochoa handing the Philippine flag to Bishop Cornelius Sim.
Ambassador Nestor Z. Ochoa greeting members of the GMA documentary program Motorcycle Diaries ni Jay Taruc who dropped by during the fellowship to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. At left is Mr. Jay Taruc, host of the said documentary program.
Ambassador Nestor Z. Ochoa with Mr. Jay Taruc, host of GMA News TV’s documentary program Motorcycle Diaries ni Jay Taruc.
Philippine Embassy personnel registering Overseas Absentee Voters at the Conference Room of the COLA.
Officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy led by Ambassador Nestor Z. Ochoa and Madame Mayie E. Ochoa with Bishop Cornelius Sim at the Parish Hall of the COLA.