3 DFA execs get CA nod
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed the nominations and ad interim appointments of three Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials on Wednesday.
The CA plenary granted the confirmation following the recommendation of the committee on foreign affairs, which discussed the nominations and appointments of the officials.
The three nominees and appointees are:
- Manuel Antonio Teehankee, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland
- Rodillo Catalan, Career Minister
- Joyce Quivvoij, Foreign Service Officer I
In taking up the appointment of Catalan, who is based in China, he was asked what his duties were when the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest against Beijing’s intrusion in the West Philippine Sea, specifically directing a military-grade laser against Filipino crew members.
“We received it from Manila, and then we forwarded it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in Beijing, and then, we actually went to the Foreign Affairs here in Beijing to discuss this matter,” said Catalan.
“I accompanied the ambassador when he was summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here… We have conveyed the sentiment of the Manila office with regard to the incident, and we have also received their response to the complaint or the protest that we have sent,” he added.
Teehankee, on the other hand, was quizzed if the Philippines could achieve some of its targets set along its accession to the WTO.
“I do recall that, indeed, one of the purposes of the development round in 2001 is to improve the circumstances and situation of agriculture trade. Indeed, our agriculture sector has been clamoring for more investment and support in order to increase our exporting and manufacturing capacity and increase efficiency,” Teehankee said.
“As pointed out by Secretary Lopez, this will be possible if we really invest in our agriculture sector as our neighbors have done so in Vietnam and Thailand, and China. So, indeed, the latest policies of government are to address this deficiency and improve support to the agriculture sector, which, if supported, can become a major export industry similar to our neighbors,” he continued.
No questions, meanwhile, were raised to Quivvoij.
The CA panel likewise deliberated the nomination of Bienvenido Tejano, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Kiribati and Solomon Islands.
However, the committee will further discuss his nomination on March 22.
The CA panel on foreign affairs went on an executive session to deliberate the nomination of Tejano due to the “sensitive nature of the opposition” against him.
To recall, discussion on Tejano’s nomination was earlier deferred to look further into the sexual assault cases filed against the envoy.