The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is set to open a new consular office in Balanga City, by the first half of 2024. The office will be located at the Bunker at The Capitol, a business, heritage and cultural center that showcases the province’s history and major achievements.
The new consular office will have a floor area of 590 square meters and will provide passport, authentication, visa, and other consular services to the residents of Bataan and nearby areas. It will also serve as a venue for some cultural and diplomatic events and activities.
On Thursday, DFA personnel from the Regional Office conducted an inspection of the future site, accompanied by Provincial Administrator Alice Pizarro, Tourism Chief Zena Sugatain, Cong. Abet Garcia’s Chief of Staff Geoff Loyola, and other key Capitol officials. They discussed the plans and preparations for the establishment of the new office.
The DFA expressed its gratitude to the provincial government of Bataan for its support and cooperation in making the project possible. The DFA also said that the new consular office will enhance its accessibility and efficiency in delivering its services to the public.
The Bunker at the Capitol in Bataan is a seven-storey building that serves as the Bataan Government Center and Business Hub. It was inaugurated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in September 2019 and is one of the success stories of Public-Private Partnerships in the country. At present, some of the national government agencies that have their satellite offices at The Bunker include Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA); Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD) National Bureau of Investigation (NBI); Land Registration Authority (LRA); Pag-Ibig Fund and other agencies that are part of the 1Bataan One-Stop Service Center for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) that aims to provide fast and convenient services to the public, especially to the OFWs like DOLE, OWWA, POEA, TESDA, MARINA, TIEZA, BIR, PRC, LTO and Bureau of Immigration.