KUWAIT CITY, Sept 16: The Philippine Commission on Appointments Committee on Foreign Affairs approved on Wednesday the nomination of Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot as the new Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait along with five others namely Maria Amelita Cunanan Aquino, ambassador to Cambodia; Frank Revil Cimafranca, ambassador to Hungary with concurrent jurisdiction over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Moldova; Meynardo Los Baños Montealegre, ambassador to Vietnam; Giovanni Endencia Palec, ambassador to Cyprus; and Macairog Sabiniano Alberto, ambassador to Israel.Lomondot who has an extensive experience in the Middle East was posted in Kuwait as Consul General in January 2018 after his tenure as Charge d’ Affaires at the Philippine Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He became the Charge d’ Affaires in Kuwait after a diplomatic row ensued between Kuwait over the treatment of Filipino domestic workers that resulted in the expulsion of the Philippine Ambassador.
The diplomatic row ended with the signing of an agreement on the protection of Filipino domestic workers between the two countries on May 11, 2018. Lomondot has been at the helm up to his confirmation on Wednesday.
Finally, after more than two years with no Philippine Ambassador in Kuwait, the Commission on Appointments confirmed Lomondot as the new envoy.
“I am thankful to the Almighty for overseeing that the Commission on Appointments in plenary session confirmed my appointment as Philippine Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, after which Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin swore our batch of new ambassadors to our oath,” conveyed Lomondot to the Arab Times who is now in Manila for the confirmation proceedings.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. administered the oath of office to Lomondot at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City on Wednesday.
Accompanying Ambassador-designate Lomondot are Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Concerns Secretary Abdullah D. Mama-o, and Undersecretary Edwin D. Bael of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns.
Last March, Lomondot’s confirmation as envoy to Kuwait was deferred because he was already set to retire in April. Lawmakers suggested then that Lomondot should just be given the ambassador post as a political appointee after he retires.
The Filipinos in Kuwait welcomed the timely confirmation of Lomondot as the new envoy especially at this time of the pandemic that has displaced over 23,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Kuwait. There are more than 240,000 OFWs in Kuwait and 65 per cent of which are household service workers while the rest are professionals ,skilled and semi-skilled workers.
“With this confirmation, oath-taking and hopefully soon the Agreement of the State of Kuwait, I am energized and enthusiastic to pursue the whole gamut of political-security, economic, cultural and public diplomacy with Kuwait even as we look forward to more vigorous pursuit of the protection and promotion of the interests of Filipinos in Kuwait particularly the OFWs. Shukran!” stated Lomondot.
By Michelle Fe Santiago
Arab Times Staff