Philippines embassy delegation visits Cayman, talks issues

Hundreds of resident Filipinos in the Cayman Islands took advantage of a recent outreach programme by officials from the Washington-based Philippines embassy to process government paperwork, including passport renewals and voter registration, while also discussing issues with the high-ranking diplomats visiting from their homeland.  

First Secretary and Consul Arlene Tullid-Magno and Welfare Officer Saul De Vries visited Grand Cayman late last month for a formal exchange with local officials, an event facilitated by the office of Cayman Islands Deputy Governor Franz Manderson.  

Accompanying the visitors was the local Philippines Honourary Consul Arturo Ursua. Even though not formally appointed, he has been acting as a liaison officer for some time. He was cited by Mrs. Tullid-Magno “for doing a great job since 2008 – largely because of the Cayman government’s acceptance and support of his work”. 

After making diplomatic calls on top government officials, the Filipino visitors conducted three days of meetings and official transactions with Filipino nationals, such as passport renewals, replacements and other services. Three other embassy staffers formed the delegation. 

More than 450 residents, including status-holders and people on work permits, came out to the consultations. Recent immigration figures show 2,677 Filipinos on work permits. 

On other matters, Mrs. Tullid-Magno noted that the diplomatic matter of the deployment ban on workers for the Cayman Islands has been suspended, and had actually been initiated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency.  

“There was never an issue of the Cayman Islands not being in compliance,” she said. 

Other changes are also pending.  

While liaisons with Cayman fall under the auspices of the Philippines embassy in London, issues in the Americas are usually managed by the Washington embassy. However, with the closure of its Venezuela embassy in July and the closure of the Havana office later this month, the Philippines embassy in Washington is taking a more active role regionally.  

The Philippine officials are working alongside the Cayman government to establish a sanctioned local presence. Once established in Cayman, an honorary consul would process applications for e-passports (issued in Manila), serve as a civil registry of births, marriages and deaths, authenticate documents, and assist nationals who are ill or imprisoned. 

Another aspect of the delegation’s visit was to register nationals for next year’s general elections in the Philippines, in which they can participate via absentee ballots. 

The issue of citizenship was also on the agenda. As that country allows dual citizenship, nationals who acquire Cayman Islands status must take an oath to recover their original status, thereby having dual-nationality. 

desk sign Filipinos

Philippine embassy’s Welfare Officer Saul De Vries and other staffers process the applications. – Photos: Submitted

Filipinos Passport photos

Philippines embassy staff record identification data for resident Filipinos in the Cayman Islands.

1 COMMENT

  1. Another prime example that every national in the Cayman Islands has committed representAtion to serve their people EXCEPT the Caymanian people. We have no representation, no one to advocate for us no jobs and NO OPPORTUNITY.

    2700 Philipinos is too large a work force of one nationality or ethnicity. It is very dangerous politically to allow so many of one group of nationals in such a small jurisdiction.
    Mr. Manderson has his work cut out for him and we expect that he will look into checks and balances with the various nationalities seeking employment in the Cayman Islands.

    Mr. Manderson might want to work with Immigration, Labor, and Education to ensure job placement for our school leavers and our own Caymanian young people that have went overseas returned ant the door slammed in their faces. If Mr. Manderson continues to operate and continue the same ole boys policies of Caymanians Left Behind, then we are doomed.
    I trust Mr. Manderson will look out for his own people and not be sucked into the greed and money hungry spirit of modern day governance.

  2. Filipinos are treated like outcast and abused in some countries. I hope we can do more to show that we treat our expats with the upmost respect. Especially those nationalities from far away distant places like India and China. We need more overall improvement on our Labor Laws, not only for Caymanians looking for jobs, but for those who are in jobs and being mistreated or threatened economically or immigration by their employers.

    I would say we have one of the worse Labor / Immigration Laws ever. We need to do better and stop putting in those MLAs that talk so much about development and so little about social justice and implications of development on people and the environment. My 2 cent

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