The Philippines decided to establish its Consulate General in Istanbul to be headed by a career official in 2019. Prior to this, the Philippine Consulate General in Europe’s biggest city was headed by honorary consular officers who were supervised by the Philippine Embassy in Ankara.
Official communications to set up the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul commenced in 2019 with the following diplomatic correspondences between Turkey and the Philippines as represented by the Philippine Embassy in Ankara:
On 2 October 2019, with instructions from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, Turkey issued a Note Verbale dated 2 October 2019 to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting approval for the opening of a Philippine Consulate General (to be headed by a career official) in Istanbul. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs thereafter responded and issued Note Verbale 2019/80225068-KOPR/24074212 dated 25 October 2019 granting approval for the opening of the Philippine Consulate General (to be headed by a career official) in Istanbul.
The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines issued Assignment Order No. 522-2019 dated 15 November 2019 which assigned three personnel, namely: Ms. Lorena Joy Banagodos as Consul and Administrative Officer; Mr. Fernando Bayad as Finance Officer; and Ms. Ruby Banzon as Communications Officer to set up the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul. The three personnel arrived in Istanbul on 23 December 2020.
The Philippine Embassy in Ankara, Turkey issued two (2) Notes Verbale dated 20 December 2019 and 16 January 2020, respectively, informing the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the arrival and designation of officials to assume their duties as the initial team of the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul.
The Philippine Consulate General (PCG Istanbul) established its temporary offices on 2 January 2020 at Kanyon Office Building, 6th Floor, Room 1029 in Buyukdere Caddesi No. 185, Esentepe, Sisli. The temporary address was conveyed to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Philippine Embassy in Ankara through a Note Verbale dated 20 January 2020.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued Diplomatic Note Verbale 82627212-203.04-2020/30833058 dated 6 January 2020 informing the Philippine Embassy in Ankara of the former’s approval to secure a Tax Number for the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul. By virtue of this, the Consulate secured its tax number from the Zirlincikuyu Vergi Dairesi Mudurlugu (Tax Office) in Şişli Municipality.
The first-ever career Philippine Consul General in Istanbul is Mr. Arvin R. de Leon who was appointed in September 2020 and moved to Istanbul from New Delhi where he was assigned as Deputy Chief of Mission from January 2017. Consul General de Leon arrived and assumed office in Istanbul on 4 December 2020.