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(From left) Eisa Khalifeh (Legal Retainer of the Philippine Consulate from Sara Advocates and Legal Consultants), Sheila Mupas (Assistance-To-Nationals officer), Jennifer Pimentel, Consular Assistant in-charge of civil registry) and Vice-Consul Marianne Bringas at press conference on 2nd July, 2019. Mupas was recently awarded the Best ATN Officer while Pimentel was recognised as the Best Employee by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Just as the UAE is currently assessing its best and worst service centres, Manila’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also recently came out with its verdict on the best Philippine missions worldwide and the Consulate-General in Dubai came on top with three recognitions.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr during DFA’s 121st Founding Anniversary recently recognised the best performing employees and organisations from the department and the 61 embassies, 24 consulates general and seven permanent missions around the world.

“The Department’s work is not easy. We are on call at all times. And that is why, as we celebrate our foundation day, we recognise the men and women who have gone above and beyond the usual call of public service,” Locsin said at the ceremony. “We also recognise the loyalty of our people and the dedication of our various organisations that have significantly contributed to the success of the department.”

Locsin gave the consulate’s Assistance-To-Nationals (ATN) Section the Best ATN Section 2018 award for the group category for the service it rendered to the more than 30,000 Filipinos who needed help in Dubai and the Northern Emirates last year.

Many of them were amnesty grantees, ATN wards or undocumented Filipinos who were illegally recruited, medical cases and others.

The ATN Section currently has nine staff, which brings the staff-to-client ratio to one staff per 61,111 Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Vice-Consul Marianne Bringas, who heads the ATN Section, said their win was because of teamwork.

“Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes continuously challenges us to serve better and we rose to the challenge. In 2017, the consulate was recognised as the Best Organisation. We are only continuing that culture of excellence in our service,” she said.

ATN Officer Sheila Mupas was also awarded as the Best ATN Officer for her efforts in handling the distressed Filipinos who seek help from the consulate.

“It’s very challenging sometimes to not get affected by the problems that the ATN wards you are helping are faced with. But I always try my best to put on a brave face so they would be encouraged and empowered,” Mupas said with a smile.

Another staff member Jennifer Pimentel, consular assistant in-charge of the civil registry, was honoured as one of the Best Employees for her innovative work at the section when she introduced a database for all the reports of birth and death at the consulate.

“Before it would take us days or, at times even weeks, to locate a file requested by our clients. To make it more efficient and serve our clients better, I devised a database in collaboration with our IT section for all the records to be unified,” Pimentel said. “Now, we can issue records in a day.”