By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The Philippine Consul to Macau, Raul Dado, has rejected claims that the postponement of Sunday’s meeting with the Filipino community was an “insult”, stressing that it was not intentional and was just a misunderstanding.
While representatives of the group claim they received no notice of the postponement until they were waiting outside the building on the day of the scheduled meeting, Dado argues that consular staff had sent emails, text messages or called the association members involved about a week ago on October 18 to inform them about the postponement.
“Maybe there was some kind of misunderstanding because those who came here said they didn’t get any notice about the postponement,” he told the MDT.
The consul also explained that the consulate representative was sent to the office after some of the association members texted him at around 1.15 pm on that day saying they were not notified about the delay.
He said he was “surprised” that the associations called the postponement an insult, since it was “unintentional” and notices were sent out a week ago.
The consul said that he will attend the rescheduled meeting but Consul General Renato Villapando again cannot make it as he will be attending an inter-agency meeting in Manila.
The group of about 35 overseas Filipino workers was hoping to meet with the top officials from the Consulate General last Sunday to discuss the possibility of lowering the e-passport application fee and canceling the Affidavit of Support (AOS) fee, amongst other concerns.
The group waited outside the closed office but were eventually told by a consular staff member that the Consul General and other officials were “very busy” in dealing with the Philippine delegates at the Macau International Trade and Investment Fair and therefore the meeting had to be postponed.
Catalina Yamat, chairperson of one of the participating associations Migrante Macau afterwards said that it was a “big insult” to the Filipino community, adding that the consulate was not prioritising their concerns and difficulties.
Speaking to the Macau Daily Times by phone yesterday, the consul confirmed that the meeting with the nine Filipino associations has been rescheduled for this Sunday, October 31 at 2 pm in the Philippine Consulate General Office at the AIA Tower.