Korean Consulate in Cebu set to open

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |March 14,2015 - 12:04 AM

Cebuanos won’t have to go to Manila to get a visa for South Korea starting next week when the Consulate of the Republic of Korea opens in Cebu.

An opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday evening, March 17, while official work will start on Wednesday, March 18.

“Our office will just be small and we will focus on our consular services. It will be convenient for you to get a Korean visa in Cebu,” said Consul General Lee Ki-seog in a dinner and news conference in his home at Ma. Luisa Estate Park in Cebu City last Thursday.

Lee took over the post left by honorary consul general of the Philippines to Korea Augusto Go, who stepped down last November.

The office will cover the whole Visayas area which includes Cebu, Iloilo, Bohol and Boracay – the islands most visited and where most Koreans in the Philippines also reside.

Three diplomats, including Lee, and six assistant staff will be manning the consular office at the 12th floor of Chinabank Corporate Center at the Cebu Business Park in Cebu City.

Aside from visa services, the office’s main mission is to protect Koreans who are in Cebu, Lee said.

He said there are an estimated 400,000 Koreans who visit the region each year while around 25,000 are residing in the Visayas area.

“The Consulate of the Republic of Korea is planning to provide general consular services such as managing the passports, notarization, issuing visas for Filipinos and coping with Korean-related incidents or accidents rapidly and efficiently,” a statement from the consulate said.

The ease of travel to and from Cebu and Korea is one of the reasons Cebu is a prime destination for Koreans. There are at least eight local and international airlines that fly directly to Cebu from Korea and vice-versa. Another factor is the luxurious resorts in the area.

“The people are also very nice and the food is delicious. Before I came here, I’ve heard a lot about lechon,” Lee said.

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