By Rhealyn C. Pojas

President Thomas Remengesau, Jr. urged Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to consider the possibility of reopening the Philippine Embassy here in Palau.

In a letter dated February 20 which was addressed to Duterte, Remengesau said that it will be of mutual importance to maintain official presences in both countries.

“Given the proximity of our shores to one another, I think it would be mutually beneficial for us to have offices looking after our bilateral interests,” the letter reads.

Remengesau explained in the letter that the Filipino population here in Palau has much greater ratio compare to many other countries with Philippine Embassies.

Island Times previously reported that the Filipino community here in Palau comprised of about 60 percent of the foreign population.

The Philippine Embassy in Palau, along with the other nine Philippine embassies in different parts of the world, had closed down in 2012 during former Philippine President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III’s term, whose administration cited budgetary constraints as the reason for the closure.

In previous reports, the Former Palau President Johnson Toribiong had also asked Aquino during his term to reconsider the government’s decision to shut down the Philippine Embassy in the country, citing that the most compelling reason for maintaining the embassy in Palau was the presence of some 5,000 Filipino workers here.