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Political foes both back Cebu Korean consulate

Kristine B. Quintas/RHM (The Freeman) - October 8, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - They belong to opposing camps, but the current and former heads of the Cebu City Council Committee on Tourism are one in supporting the idea of South Korea establishing a consular office in the Queen City of the South.

City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco said having the consular office is not only beneficial to the Korean community in Cebu but also to Cebuanos as well.

“That would be a very good development in Cebu; especially that they (Korean Government) have to provide service to their constituents,” he said.

City Councilor Margot Osmeña, former chairperson of the committee, also supported the plan, saying “that’s really good”.

Cuenco is allied with Mayor Michael Rama, who defeated in the elections last May former mayor and 3rd District representative Tomas Osmeña, Margot’s husband.

Lawyer Augusto Go is the honorary consul general of the Republic of South Korea in Cebu.

Earlier, Consul Park Yong Jeong said there is a dire need to establish a consular office in Cebu to better serve Koreans in the Philippines.

Cuenco said having the consular office would certainly strengthen ties and foster good relations between the Philippines and Korea.

“We will definitely have a closer relationship with Korea, especially now that we are nurturing our link with the City of Yoso in Korea,” he said, adding that a South Korea consular office would also have economic and social impacts in Cebu.

The idea, Cuenco said, is commendable considering that the population of Koreans in Cebu is greatly increasing. He said that in terms of number, Koreans have even overtaken the Japanese for the past few years already.

One immediate effect of having the consular office is that Cebuanos, and even those from Mindanao and from other places in the Visayas, would no longer spend a lot of money in going to Manila for Visa application and processing.

“It is important that we are able to safeguard the best interests of both countries, the Philippines and Korea…and to bring order and discipline to Koreans,” Cuenco added.

He was referring to numerous reports on rowdy Koreans creating scenes and causing trouble in Cebu.

A delegation of mostly children from the City of Yoso, South Korea showed various performances depicting their culture and religion during a Korean festivity held at SM Cebu over the weekend. (FREEMAN)

 

CEBU CEBU CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE CEBUANOS CITY COUNCILOR JAMES ANTHONY CUENCO CITY OF YOSO CUENCO KOREA PHILIPPINES AND KOREA SOUTH KOREA
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