THE PHILIPPINE EMBASSY
The diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Lebanon was established in 1946. Since then and until 1996, the Philippines' representation in Lebanon was on a non-resident basis and was covered during separate periods by the Philippine Embassies in Cairo, Egypt and Amman, Jordan. In 1996, the Philippines assigned its first resident Ambassador to Lebanon. Between 1996 and 2008, the Philippine Embassy in Lebanon exercised concurrent jurisdiction over Syria.
With the assignment of a resident Ambassador to Lebanon in 1996, the Philippines had its first chancery in Rouche, Beirut in 1997. In 2000, a resident Labor Attaché, who heads the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) was assigned to Lebanon. The office of the POLO was initially located several blocks away from the Embassy in Rouche. The POLO office also housed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Due to the rising number of clients that it served and the greater need for a closer coordination among Embassy and POLO officials in rendering services to the public, the chancery was relocated in 2006 in Achrafieh, Beirut thus bringing together the Embassy and the POLO/OWWA, including its Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos resource center, under one roof.
In 2012, the chancery was transferred again to its current location, a brand new spacious building. Due to the availability of additional space, the current chancery could host other activities with large participation.
Official Representatives in Lebanon
In 1955, the Philippines appointed its first Honorary Consul (then appointed later as Honorary Consul General) to Lebanon in the person of Mr. Paul Awad. Since 1955, the Philippines had appointed four (4) Honorary Consuls to Lebanon until 24 October 1996 when a resident Philippine Ambassador was first assigned in Lebanon. The other three Honorary Consuls General were: Mr. Ghaith Khoury (1975-1984), Mr. Nicolas Baida (1984-1992) and Mr. Nabil Sinno (1989-1996).
In 1996, H.E. Fortunato D. Oblena was assigned to Lebanon as first resident Ambassador. He served in Lebanon until 2003. The Ambassadors who succeeded Ambassador Oblena were: H.E. Ramoncito S. Mariño (2003 to 2004); H.E. Al Francis C. Bichara (February – December 2006); H.E. Gilberto G.B. Asuque (2009 – 2011); H.E. Leah M. Basinang-Ruiz (2011 to 2016); and H.E. Bernardita L. Catalla (2017 - present).
Mission in Lebanon
Guided by the three pillars of Philippine Foreign Policy namely: 1. Preservation and enhancement of national security; 2. Promotion and attainment of economic security; and 3. Protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare and interest of Filipinos overseas, the Philippine Embassy in Lebanon has always been mindful of its goal to maintain and enhance a friendly and dynamic bilateral relations with Lebanon.
The work of the Philippine Embassy is characterized by its active engagement of the Lebanese government in different areas of cooperation, including political, labor, cultural and economic. The Embassy is active in protecting the rights and promoting the welfare of the 30,000 Filipinos working and living in Lebanon and in enhancing people-to-people links between the two countries.