Hungary, PH boost ties with Honorary Consulate in Cebu
CULTURAL and people-to-people exchange between Hungary and the Philippines, including Cebu, are expected to flourish with the establishment of an Honorary Consulate of Hungary in the province.
At the same time, investments and technology transfer in agriculture and water management are also seen in the coming months and years, said Dr. Jozsef Bencze, the Ambassador of Hungary to the Philippines.
“My mission is to stand on three legs: first is traditional diplomacy, politician contact and official contact; second is economic diplomacy and economic cooperation; and third is culture diplomacy or public diplomacy,” he told reporters.
Bencze was in Cebu for the appointment of Enrilen Joy Benedicto-Tan as the Honorary Consul of Hungary in Cebu last Wednesday evening.
Among the biggest programs of Hungary for Filipinos is their educational scholarship program. Every year, Bencze said, their country offers 35 full scholarship slots for Philippine students for undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs.
Fields of studies include agriculture, engineering, art, medicine, and architecture.
According to Bencze, the Philippines is also one of the top choices of Hungarian tourists who want to go abroad to take a vacation.
“More and more Hungarian tourists arrive to the Philippines to relax and visit the beaches. Among their favorite tourist paradise are Bohol, Cebu, Boracay and Palawan, these are in the Visayas,” he said, highlighting the need to open an honorary consulate in the Visayas.
Hungarian tourists usually spend around two weeks of vacation in the Philippines during the winter season in their home country, which falls between December to mid-March.
Aside from the Philippines, these tourists also like to go to Bali in Indonesia, Cambodia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Singapore.
While there are a number of Filipinos and even Cebuanos traveling to Hungary, Bencze said they hope to encourage more Filipinos to visit their country, located in Central Europe and founded in the year 1000. Hungary is defined by its long history, distinct language, and unique art, music, and innovation.
The Embassy of Hungary in the Philippines in Manila was only reopened last March 2017 after a 21-year hiatus following its closure in 1995. During the hiatus, the Embassy of Hungary in Jakarta, Indonesia was accredited to the Philippines.
With its re-establishment, Filipinos can now apply for a Hungary Schengen visa in Manila. The visa application is not yet available in the honorary consulate in Cebu.
With a Schengen visa, holders can travel to other European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Netherlands, among many others.
Based on their records, Bencze said there are around 300 Hungarian nationals living in different parts of the Philippines. On the other hand, he said there are around 400 Filipinos working and living in Hungary.
Bencze said they also target to open another Honorary Consulate in Davao to serve the Mindanao area within the latter half of the year.
Meanwhile, Honorary Consul Benedicto-Tan is well known in local circles. The Cebuana businesswoman holds several managing director positions in real estate, construction, furniture and agricultural firms and eagerly participates in the bustling business and tourism activities in Cebu.
She is the daughter of Consul ad honoreum of Belgium Enrique Benedicto and niece of Ambassador Francisco Benedicto.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.