Ambassador Alfonso Ver-1674452502757
The new Philippines Ambassador to the UAE, Alfonso Ver, arrived in Abu Dhabi last week. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The new Philippine ambassador to the UAE, Alfonso Ver, arrived in Abu Dhabi last week to assume post as head of the Philippine mission.

Shortly after his arrival in Abu Dhabi, the ambassdor-designate met with Team Philippines UAE (embassy, consulate, and attached agencies) “to chart the way forward as the Philippines continues to cultivate deep and meaningful engagement with the UAE, with a view towards protecting the interests of Filipinos who have made the country their second home,” the the Philippine Embassy said in a Facebook post.

‘Twin priorities’

Ver, who replaced ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana, has set his agenda as head of the Philippine mission to the UAE. He said: “Our robust relations with the UAE, evidenced by the recent expansion in the areas of cooperation between our two countries, is hinged on the enormous goodwill generated by the Filipino people in this country. Therefore, our twin priorities of promoting the welfare of Filipinos in this country and further deepening Philippine ties with the UAE, go hand in hand, as one opens the door to the other.”

He added: “The Filipinos in the UAE are significant not only in number, as the country’s third largest expatriate population, but also in terms of impact. They are known for their professionalism, talent and skill, combined with innate friendliness, which is why they are respected and embraced by the UAE.” Meaningful engagement

“This impact of Filipinos residing in the UAE opened doors and allowed the Embassy to engage meaningfully with the host government. The Philippines engaged UAE in agriculture, space technology, consular cooperation, investment promotion and combating human trafficking, and the Philippines and the UAE will be signing MoUs on culture, defence, advanced technology, and hopefully the CEPA [Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement] in the next few months. Thus, each Filipino is an integral part of Team Philippines UAE,” Ver continued.

Diplomatic record

Before coming to the UAE, Ver served as the Philippine assistant secretary for Middle East and African Affairs. He also previously served as the Philippine ambassador to Bahrain, and was posted as consul general in San Francisco, USA, and in Turkey.

Ver graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (1986) and a graduate diploma in Public Management (1995). He earned his Master of Arts in Public Policy at the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan in 2004 as a scholar under the Japanese Ministry of Education’s Young Leaders Programme.

Ver is a career foreign service official who passed the Foreign Service Examination in 1993 and the Career Minister Examination in 2008. His first overseas assignment was as vice consul at the Philippine Consulate General in Guam in 1996.