ROME: When I and my family were on the way to our hotel from the airport, our Filipino driver recited a litany of complaints against the Philippine Embassy here.
Foremost of these complaints is the removal of their middle names on pertinent documents for employment and residency in Italy.
Carlito Buhawi Senicolas, our driver, said this action of the embassy is illegal since it is not covered by Philippine or Italian law.
Mang Carlito, who had been living in the “Eternal City” for the past 30 years, says the removal of middles names started a few years ago and covers the newly born and those who recently arrived in Italy.
Each document issued by the Philippine Embassy without middle names or maternal names cost around €60. There are 270,000 Filipinos living in Italy.
An embassy staff, however, told me the next day that the removal of middle names is covered by the local law, which was passed a few years ago and is applicable not only for Italians but also for those who live and work in Italy regardless of nationality.
But Mang Carlito refuted this claim and showed me a document from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy stating that the Philippine Embassy requested the removal of middle names of Filipinos in documents for transactions in Italy.
I told Mang Carlito and several other overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in a small gathering a few days ago that I will investigate this issue.
If their concern is indeed valid, the Philippine Embassy in Italy does not serve its purpose.
Instead of being the refuge or haven for OFWs, it has become oppressive and burdensome.
Paging DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario!
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This NIA official should be fired
What’s this I heard from Manila that a ranking National Irrigation Administration (NIA) official is the talk of the agency these days because of his alleged dubious money-making business?
The story goes something like this: The NIA official, whom we will call “Deputy Raz,” used to be assigned in Mindanao but was transferred last year to the main office in Quezon City after several congressmen in the area asked for his immediate removal over reports of his money-making ventures wherein he allegedly asks advance “commissions” from local contractors.
This business-minded NIA official perhaps forgot that construction firms in the provinces are owned by or are usually connected to politicians.
But even if he was reassigned to QC, alias “Deputy Raz” would still go to Mindanao and would offer NIA projects funded by calamity funds to contractors willing to make advance payments.
This same official also has an immediate relative working in NIA, and they own a clinic and a condominium unit somewhere in Taguig City. More of the duo’s pieces of property in my next column.
Actually, if Pnoy fires this NIA official, the money-making “Deputy Raz”will never be missed or will be considered a loss to the agency.