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ConGen Ezzedin Tago right and Atty Kate Andres

Filipino diplomats honoured as “symbolic mayor” in community

Filipino diplomats are traditionally honoured as “symbolic mayor” of the Philippine community in Sydney and is ever present in many community activities from day care centres to senior citizens’ corporate birthday celebrations.

In the absence of a rallying  symbol for unifying Filipino-Australians in the mainstream political scene, the Philippine Consul General is regarded as a virtual “elder statesman” in the community. There are already some six Filipino Australians serving as councilors in Australian local government units. But none had breakthrough yet to be a state legislator, much less a federal parliamentarian.

The Consul General is really a foreign national in Australia and would never participate in Australian politics, but  respect accorded to him and his moral suasion is recognised by the community.

In the absence of     the Philippine Ambassador to Australia who might be tied up with duties in Canberra, the Philippine ConGen in Sydney does the national toasts and addresses in behalf of the Philippines in activities in  Sydney.

The Philippine Consul General posted in Sydney especially has a heavy workload of year-round public appearance and one wonders how many anniversary messages or welcome speeches the diplomat has to prepare in a month.

While  administration of the consular affairs mainly in New South Wales is his main sphere of assignment in coordination with the Philippine ambassador based in Canberra, ACT, the “ConGen” as he is popularly called usually have more public appearances in Sydney than the Ambassador himself or herself i n Australia’s political capital.

Because of this, an interesting observation is that after a “ConGen”  posting in Sydney,  a diplomat usually gets promoted to a next post in another assignment as full pledged ambassador. Which what really happened to a number of previous Philippine Consul Generals in Sydney,

The present Philippine Consul General in Sydney Mr Ezzedin Tago, however, has an interesting case in that previously he occupied the post of Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia which situation should be an interesting query for the community press.

As previously experienced, ConGens are warmly welcomed when they assume post and given a great send-off when they are about to complete one’s posting. –