History is made in the Philippine embassy as the first woman ambassador, Her Excellency Lillibeth V. Pono, begins her post this year. Ambassador Pono has also served in various posts abroad and handled other positions within the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The new ambassador earned her BS degree at the University of San Carlos and her master’s degree at De La Salle University in Manila and the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She is proficient in English, Italian, and Spanish.
Get to Know the New Ambassador – Her Excellency Lillibeth V. Pono
The Philippine Embassy in Qatar welcomes the first female ambassador to hold such a post. According to the Philippine Embassy website, Her Excellency Lillibeth V. Pono is a seasoned envoy. She was the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the Philippine Embassy in Berlin, Germany, prior to her appointment to Qatar. Her previous posts also include the Philippine embassies in Berne, Switzerland, Rome, Italy, Vatican, Italy, and Tokyo, Japan.
As reported by The Peninsula, H.E. Lillibeth Pono arrived in Doha on January 29. Upon her arrival, she was received by the Director of Protocol Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ambassador Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro. She also received a warm welcome from the staff of the embassy.
H.E. Pono is the 8th Philippine Ambassador to Qatar. She succeeds H.E. Alan L. Timbayan, who served from 2017 to 2022. Meanwhile, the first ambassador to Qatar was H.E. Antonio B. Magtibay.
What is the Difference Between a Consulate and an Embassy?
For those working abroad, there might be some confusion regarding an embassy and a consulate. While these offices both function as a diplomatic representation of the country’s government, they have different purposes.
For one, the embassy is the primary diplomatic representative, while the consulate is an extension of the embassy. Next, the embassy serves as a point of communication between the governments, and it also enacts the foreign policy of the home country. The consulate assists expats and tourists, as well as performing public administration.
The embassy is in the capital city of the host country, while a consulate can usually be found in tourist spots, financial districts, or a busy part of the metro. There is only one embassy in the country. But it is possible to have more than one consulate. Finally, the embassy relays the messages from the home country. It is also tasked with updating the citizens on the events of their host country, and they also prepare treaties and ensure that state visits go smoothly. Meanwhile, the consulate is tasked with issuing passports or visas and keeping records of the birth and marriage of citizens.
And in your transactions with the embassy, you might also hear the word “labor attaché.” This position pertains to a civil servant within the embassy who is tasked with manpower.
Philippine Embassy in Qatar
The embassy is in the West Bay Area. Meanwhile, the Chancery of the Philippine Embassy in Doha is in the Jelalaiah Area, near Qatar University. The Office of the Labor Attaché is in Jawaan Steet, Al Sadd.