Hjayceelyn M Quintana Philippine Ambassador to UAE. Photo Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The new Philippine Ambassador to the UAE has appealed to her compatriots to work with her in "raising the profile" of the Filipino community in the UAE.

Ambassador Hjayceelyn Aurora Quintana, who assumed her post as head of mission on August 20, spent her first 10 days in office in consultations with Filipino organisations and different sectors in the capital, listening to their concerns and suggestions.

She emphasised an "open-door policy" and encouraged the public for their feedback to strengthen their partnership.

“Let’s work together. We’re open to try something new,” Quintana told the media, adding: “Filipinos are entitled to prompt service and they deserve the best we can give. And we’re doing that.”

Enhancing services

“I have all the confidence in my team in Abu Dhabi and also in Dubai. In my first 10 days, I’ve seen how they work,” she said.

Quintana said she is introducing the “little changes needed” at the embassy to enhance services.

This will redound to something bigger in the long run, if done consistently, she said. Many more changes will be implemented to streamline services and to ensure the smooth flow of people after the amnesty programme concludes on October 31.

The seasoned career diplomat has been serving the public for 28 years, once as a Presidential Staff Officer under the Office of the President of the Philippines in 1992.


She began working in the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1994, at the Office of United Nations and International Organisations, working her way to the top in various posts in China, US, and Ireland.

Her UAE posting is her second in the Middle East, after serving in Oman as consul-general from 2012 to 2015.

Quintana said her personal goal is to make a difference wherever she is posted. She also hopes to inspire her nearly one million compatriots in the UAE to be positive contributors to society.

“There is no other country in the world where Filipinos make up eight per cent of the population. The number of Filipinos here is substantial, that is why we want to raise their profile. It can be in many ways, including culturally and in terms of visibility,” the ambassador said.

“You’re young, dynamic and talented. You can be so much more to this region,” Quintana added.