An honorary consulate or honorary consul is a person who is appointed to act in the interests of a country’s citizens in another country
They carry out tasks on the basis of a volunteer agreement rather than an employment contract. Honorary consuls are appointed for a period of five years or less.
Depending on the country, honorary consuls can amend regular passports, issue travel documents, temporary visitors’ visas and transit visas, authenticate the validity of official acts of local authorities, conduct notarial services and even certify ships’ papers in some instances. Some Philippine honorary consuls, in cases where they are allowed by the laws of the host government, can also administer oaths and take witness depositions in cases that are pending before Philippine courts, and of course, they are also expected to extend assistance to “distressed Filipino citizens.”
Section 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991.“
What’s worse is that some of the consuls are obviously after the position for reasons other than being “honorary.” A number of times, these people just get the title and the honorary privileges because they have the right connections. For instance, a number of these honorary consuls are not even familiar with the countries they are supposed to represent. The Consular Corps, together with the DFA, should really start cleaning up their ranks and weed out those who are not deserving of the “honorary” title. After all, if you want to be honored, you should also be “honorable.”
This law was been discussed during the government orientation and seminar for honorary / appointed officials in the government during my previous years in 2006.