PH reopens embassy in Sweden after 8 years

Sofia Tomacruz
The embassy will also have jurisdiction over Finland

BUSY STREET. People walk at Drottninggatan in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 1, 2020. File photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Friday, May 15, that it was reopening the country’s embassy in Sweden, 8 years after it closed its doors over economic restraints. 

The DFA said the embassy, which will also have jurisdiction over Finland, became operational once more through the efforts of a landing team that arrived in Sweden in late 2019. The team was led by Consul General and Chargé d’Affaires (ad interim) Raul Dado, who was previously consul general of the Philippine embassy in Kuwait.

What Filipinos can expect: Filipinos in Sweden and Finland will now have easier access to consular services, including applications for passport extensions, visa, and civil registry, among others. 

The DFA said passport renewals will initially still be done at the Philippine embassy in Oslo, where consular services were rendered before the reopening of the Philippine embassy in Sweden.  

Applications will be received and processed in the capital Stockholm twice a week starting this May. The DFA announced services will first be available on May 19 and 21, from 9 am to 2 pm, with no lunch break.  

Emergency requests for consular services outside of these dates will be accommodated as necessary, the DFA said.  

The Philippine Embassy in Stockholm is located at the 4th Floor of Regus Building, 29 Olof Palmesgata 111 22 Stockholm, Sweden, with contact numbers +46 702 735 407, +63 9054039435 (Viber). Its e-mail address is stockholm.pe@dfa.gov.ph.  

Strengthen ties: The reopening of the Philippine embassy in Sweden comes after the Scandinavian country reopened its embassy in Manila in 2016, 8 years after its closure in 2008. 

Before reopening, the Philippines was represented by Honorary Consul General to Stockholm Erik Belfrage, who recently died due to COVID-19.

The Philippines and Sweden established diplomatic ties in 1947, making it one of the the earliest bilateral diplomatic ties the Philippines entered into after World War II. 

The DFA said the reopening of the embassy is expected to strengthen ties between the Philippines and Nordic states.  

“With the present increasing economic opportunities between the Philippines and the Nordic countries, which include Sweden, the reestablishment of the Philippine embassy allows greater exploration of trade and investment opportunities in both Sweden and Finland,” the DFA said. 

There are currently 15,000 overseas Filipinos in Sweden and over 4,000 Filipinos in Finland. – Rappler.com 

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.