Philippine Embassy Berlin inducts new officers of the Federation of Filipino Organizations in Northern Germany
28 September 2013, Hamburg – The Federation of Filipino Organizations in Northern Germany (FFONG e.V.) held their annual meeting and induction of new officers at the Racket Inn Sport Hotel in Hamburg. Minister Mardomel Celo Melicor administered the oath to the officers of the Federation led by its incoming President, Ms. Corazon Entapa.
Dr. Resurreccion R. Repotente, M.D., outgoing president and one of the original founders of the Federation, reviewed the past three and a half years of activities, including the inertia they had to overcome to unite Filipino community organizations in and around the Hamburg area into one higher organizational body. She gave credit to some of the guests present who strongly advocated and assisted in organizing the Federation in 2010, including Prof. Dr. Robert Martens, and Dr. Antonio Repotente, M.D. She encouraged the new officers to continue the work that the past officers have begun.
President Entapa expressed her thanks to the Philippine Embassy for being supportive of the Federation’s activities and for attending their induction evening. She expressed the commitment of her officers to do their best to achieve the goals of the Federation and implement the plans they had drawn up during their four long annual meeting from mid afternoon until evening.
Mr. Eufracio Sale, incoming Vice President and Commander of the Knights of Rizal Hamburg Chapter, echoed the resolve of the new set of officers to meet the objectives they have set for themselves, counting on the advice and support of their Board of Advisers headed by Ms. Divinagracia Martens.
In his address, Minister Melicor thanked the Federation for their support of Embassy activities such as mobile consular services and overseas absentee voter registration, and for their active participation in important events like the visits to Hamburg of Vice President Jejomar Binay, and of SSS President and CEO Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr. He informed them of upcoming activities being planned in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Philippine-German diplomatic relations, and asked them to demonstrate unity and solidarity with all Filipino community organizations nationwide by supporting these activities.
The Federation was organized in 2010 in the wake of the closure of the Philippine Consulate General in Hamburg a year earlier. Seeing the need to coordinate and bundle their activities closer in the absence of a consular representation, they set out to form the Federation as a registered organization (eingetragener Verein e.V.) under local German laws. Its membership has since stabilized to 16 Filipino community organizations from the States of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.
There are around 1,070 Filipinos living in the city of Hamburg itself, but if one includes the other neighboring states, the figure can be three times higher. If those Filipinos who are naturalized are included, the total will even be higher at around 5,000.
Hamburg holds a special place in the diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Germany because it hosted the first Philippine representation to Germany in the post war era. Consul General de Venecia was the career Filipino diplomat who opened and headed the first ever Philippine representation to Germany on 08 November 1954, which later on became the Philippine Consulate General in Hamburg. It had jurisdiction over the northern federal states including the former West Berlin. His daughter is Madame Gretchen V. del Rosario, the wife of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario. (END)