Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C.
The Embassy is the principal representative of the Philippine Government in the conduct of its relations with the Government of the United States of America. In this capacity, the Embassy promotes the foreign policy thrusts of the Philippines, to wit:
- Promotion of closer and mutually beneficial bilateral ties between the Philippines and the United States;
- Promotion of national security;
- Promotion of economic diplomacy to support national development;
- Promotion of rights and welfare Filipinos overseas;
- Promotion of Philippine culture; and
- Promotion of a positive national image
The roles and responsibilities of the Embassy cover the following:
- Managing relations with the US government at the federal level through the White House, the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of State and other federal agencies, and with the U.S. Congress;
- Managing linkages with state and local-level governments in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, and the District of Columbia;
- Representing the Philippine Government and its agencies responsible for policy vis-à-vis Washington-based international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), among others;
- Representing the Philippines in international conferences, symposia and fora;
- Managing ties with US-based constituencies that are of use in advancing the national interest such as:
- the business community
- the media, both national and international
- the academic community
- the “think tanks” or policy institutions
- the non-governmental organizations
- the Filipino-American community
- Monitoring U.S. policies on various regions especially Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
The major thrusts of the Embassy are as follows:
- Politico-Military and Security Relations
- Projection of the current Administration’s policies;
- Maintenance of close cooperation between the Philippines and the U.S. in bilateral, regional and global issues;
- Enhancement of bilateral security relations through increased Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT)-related activities and military-to-military interaction;
- Tapping of available US resources that will benefit the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines;
- Cooperation in transnational concerns such as terrorism, narcotics, avian flu, among others;
- Supporting the U.S. in promoting democracy, open markets, and non-proliferation;
- Reporting on U.S. policies regarding global, regional, bilateral and national political and security positions and initiatives of major interest to the Philippines; and
- Coordinates with Filipino-Americans on their “empowerment” activities that will also benefit the Philippines and Filipinos.
- Economic Relations
- Trade, investment, tourism, and technology transfer promotion and facilitation;
- Monitoring of science & technology and environment developments and opportunities;
- Economic, commercial, and agricultural policy representations;
- Presentation of economic developments and opportunities in the Philippines; and
- Focus on priority US programs such as the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and petitions under the US Trade Representative (USTR) Annual GSP Review.
- Assistance to Nationals (ATN)
- Service to the public (FilCom/dual citizens) in the form of legal advice; consular assistance to nationals in distress; and
- Efficient processing of legal documents, passports and visas.
- Enhancement of Positive Image
- Information dissemination: networking with think tanks and the academe;
- Liaising with media and securing positive coverage for the Philippines; and
- Promoting awareness of Philippine culture through partnerships with schools, museums and FilCom organizations.
Functional Sections of the Embassy and Attached Services
The above-mentioned thrusts and functions of the Post are divided among the following functional sections of the Embassy:
- Political Section
- Economic Section
- Cultural Section
- Consular Section
- Press and Information Section
The Embassy is ably supported by the following attached agencies:
- Office of the Defense Attaché - helps promote bilateral defense and military relations; coordinates military-to-military programs including the International Military Education Training (IMET) program as well as training programs on anti-terrorism; reports on defense-related policies and developments in Washington, D.C.; interfaces on behalf of the Philippine defense establishment with the U.S. military establishment; and coordinates military visits and exchanges.
- Office of the Commercial Attaché – promotes exports and investments in coordination with the Economic Section; facilitates trade projects and opportunities; develops markets for Philippine export products; monitors for and reports to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on US trade and investment policies that can affect Philippine trade to the US.
- Office of Agricultural Attaché – coordinates and assists in the development of food assistance and agricultural and fishery cooperation bilateral programs between the governments of the United States and the Philippines; monitors US agricultural policies that impact on Philippine agriculture; assists in the promotion of increased access of agricultural exports to the US market and further investments from the US in Philippine agribusiness; represents the Philippines in various meetings and conferences on agriculture and fisheries held within the North American region.
- Office of the Labor Attaché – monitors US labor policies as they affect trade with the Philippines, labor relations between the two countries and the employment of Philippine nationals in the US; promotes employment of Philippine nationals in targeted sectors of the US labor market through briefings and presentations to employers; coordinates with the consular section in extending assistance to Filipinos overseas workers in the United States and other countries under the jurisdiction of the Embassy such as the Caribbean countries; promotes the welfare and interest of more than 40,000 overseas workers in the US through counseling, mediation of labor cases.
- Office of Veterans Affairs – in charge of Filipino veterans-related issues, especially the campaign for the implementation of the Veterans Equity Bill. Due recognition was recently given by the US Congress.
About the Chancery
Located at 1600 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, the Chancery stands directly behind the standing figure of Daniel Webster, the “Expounder of the US Constitution” along Scott Circle. Webster’s statue faces Scott circle from the west. The Statue was donated by Stilson Hutchins, founder of the Washington Post, and unveiled in January 1900 by Jerome Bonaparte, Webster’s great grandson.
The classic lines of the Chancery building allows it to blend with the older, imposing buildings along Massachusetts Avenue. It stands alone on the block at the intersection of 17th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, facing the Johns Hopkins University Building, with the Embassy of Peru at the right side and Beacon Hotel at the back, along N Street.
President Fidel V. Ramos inaugurated the present Chancery in November 1993 during his first Official Visit to Washington, D.C. The Chancery is a four-storey structure and has a two-level parking garage.
The Consular and Reception areas are on the ground floor. The Ambassador’s Office, his Conference Room and the Office of his Secretary and Assistant, the Deputy Chief of Mission’s Office and his Conference Room, the Administrative Section, the Press Office, and the MIS are all in the second floor.
The functional sections of the Embassy – Political, Economic, Cultural, Finance, Labor, the Records, Property, and the Jose Rizal Library, are all in the third floor.
The offices of the Attached Agencies – Agriculture, Commercial, Defense, Labor, Police, and Veterans Affairs, a Conference Room, a records/storage room are all in the fourth floor.
The two-level parking garage can accommodate 36 cars.
The Old Chancery
The Old Chancery, located at 1617 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., was acquired on 15 November 1941 from Mrs. Stella Stapleton, wife of Daniel Stapleton, owner of two platinum mines in Ecuador and Colombia. Mrs. Stapleton helped build Father Flanagan’s Boys Town in Nebraska. It was at 1617 Massachusetts Avenue where the National Catholic Welfare Conference was first held and many welfare and religious projects were conceived and developed.
Although the Philippines acquired the property in 1941, the Office of the Resident Commission did not move in until 1943.
When the Philippines achieved independence and became a Republic in 1946, the Office of the Resident Commissioner became the Embassy of the Philippines, and the building became the Chancery.
In 1961, on the 19th Anniversary of the Fall of Bataan, in a ceremony attended by Chief Justice Warren, the Secretary of State, and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, and the District of Columbia’s Board of Commissioners, and the Philippine Ambassador to the United States Carlos P. Romulo and the Embassy Staff, the two (2) small streets along Scott Circle and became Bataan Street (behind Daniel Webster’s statue) and Corregidor Street (across Bataan Street).
The Ambassador's Official Residence
History of the Philippine Ambassador’s Official Residence
The cream-colored, three-storey sandstone mansion located at 2253 R Street, NW, Washington, D.C., was built in 1904 by William Lipscombs & Co. for retired General and Mrs. Charles L. Fitzhugh. It was designed by Waddy B. Wood of the firm, Wood, Donn and Dunning. A namesake and descendant of a Confederate General, Waddy Wood was the architect of such government buildings as the Department of the Interior and the old State War Navy Building. The Residence is a stone’s throw from what were once the homes of four (4) former U.S. Presidents – William Howard Taft, who was the first American Civil Governor of the Philippines, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding and Herbert C. Hoover.
The Official Residence became, successively, the temporary home of Clarence M. Wooley, Sherman Flint and the Czechoslovak Legation. In 1931, Republican Congressman from Illinois, Frederick Britten and Mrs. Alma Hand Weiner Britten took up residence in it. Even after Britten retired from public life in 1935, the Brittens continued to live at the Residence, and on 19 June 1941, bought the property from Mrs. Emma J. Fitzhugh, widow of General Fitzhugh.
In 1946, Philippine Resident Commissioner in the United States and later, first Ambassador to the U.S., Joaquin M. Elizalde, negotiated for the private purchase of the Residence from Mrs. Britten, widow of the Congressman. On 14 October 1946, ownership of the mansion was turned over to Ambassador and Mrs. Elizalde.
On 30 August 1949, the Philippine Government bought the property from the Elizaldes for $130,582.78. Elizalde stayed on as Ambassador until January 1952. Since then, it has been the Official Residence, at one point or another, of succeeding Philippine Ambassadors to the United States:
|Carlos P. Romulo||Jan 1952 – May 1953
Sept 1955 – Feb 1962
|Emilio Abello||Feb – Sept 1962|
|Amelito Mutuc||Sept 1962 – Mar 1964|
|Oscar Ledesma||July 1964 – June 1966|
|Salvador P. Lopez||April 1968 – Mar 1969|
|Ernesto Lagdameo||April 1969 – Aug 1971|
|Eduardo Z. Romualdez||Oct. 1971 – 1982|
|Benjamin Romualdez||July 1982 – March 1986|
|Emmanuel Pelaez||April 1986 – Sept 1992|
|Pablo Suarez||Oct 1992 – Jan 1993|
|Raul Ch. Rabe||June 1993 – July 1999|
|Ernesto M. Maceda||July 1999 – May 2001|
|Albert F. del Rosario||Oct 2001 – July 2006|
|Willy C. Gaa||July 2006 – February 2011
The Embassy of the Philippines is closed on the following Federal and Philippine Holidays:
- 1 January - New Year's (PH & US)
- 2 January - Special Non-Working Holiday (PH)
- 19 January - Martin Luther King's Birthday (US)
- 16 February - President's Day (US)
- 19 February - Chinese New Year (PH)
- 2 April - Maundy Thursday (PH)
- 3 April - Good Friday (PH)
- 4 April - Black Saturday (PH)
- 9 April - Araw ng Kagitingan (PH)
- 25 May - Memorial Day (US)
- 12 June - Independence Day (PH)
- 3 July - Independence Day (US)
- 21 August - Ninoy Aquino Day (PH)
- 31 August - National Heroes Day (PH)
- 7 September - Labor Day (US)
- 12 October - Columbus Day (US)
- 1 November - All Saint's Day (PH)
- 11 November - Veterans' Day (US)
- 26 November - Thanksgiving (US)
- 30 November - Bonifacio Day (PH)
- 24 December - Special Non-Working Holiday (PH)
- 25 December - Christmas Day (PH & US)
- 30 December - Rizal Day (PH)
- 31 December - Last Day of the Year (PH)
Separate proclamations will be issued for the observance of Eid'l Fitr and Eidul Adha.