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Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C.

Background | Thrusts | Functional Sections of the Embassy and Attached Services | About the Chancery | The Old Chancery | Official Residence of the Ambassador | Ambassadors | Holidays

Background

The Embassy is the principal representative of the Philippine Government in the conduct of its relations with the Government of the United States of America. In this capacity, the Embassy promotes the foreign policy thrusts of the Philippines, to wit:

The roles and responsibilities of the Embassy cover the following:

Thrusts

The major thrusts of the Embassy are as follows:

Functional Sections of the Embassy and Attached Services

The above-mentioned thrusts and functions of the Post are divided among the following functional sections of the Embassy:

The Embassy is ably supported by the following attached agencies:

About the Chancery

Located at 1600 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, the Chancery stands directly behind the standing figure of Daniel Webster, the “Expounder of the US Constitution” along Scott Circle. Webster’s statue faces Scott circle from the west. The Statue was donated by Stilson Hutchins, founder of the Washington Post, and unveiled in January 1900 by Jerome Bonaparte, Webster’s great grandson.

The classic lines of the Chancery building allows it to blend with the older, imposing buildings along Massachusetts Avenue. It stands alone on the block at the intersection of 17th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, facing the Johns Hopkins University Building, with the Embassy of Peru at the right side and Beacon Hotel at the back, along N Street.

President Fidel V. Ramos inaugurated the present Chancery in November 1993 during his first Official Visit to Washington, D.C. The Chancery is a four-storey structure and has a two-level parking garage.

The Consular and Reception areas are on the ground floor. The Ambassador’s Office, his Conference Room and the Office of his Secretary and Assistant, the Deputy Chief of Mission’s Office and his Conference Room, the Administrative Section, the Press Office, and the MIS are all in the second floor.

The functional sections of the Embassy – Political, Economic, Cultural, Finance, Labor, the Records, Property, and the Jose Rizal Library, are all in the third floor.

The offices of the Attached Agencies – Agriculture, Commercial, Defense, Labor, Police, and Veterans Affairs, a Conference Room, a records/storage room are all in the fourth floor.

The two-level parking garage can accommodate 36 cars.

The Old Chancery

The Old Chancery, located at 1617 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., was acquired on 15 November 1941 from Mrs. Stella Stapleton, wife of Daniel Stapleton, owner of two platinum mines in Ecuador and Colombia. Mrs. Stapleton helped build Father Flanagan’s Boys Town in Nebraska. It was at 1617 Massachusetts Avenue where the National Catholic Welfare Conference was first held and many welfare and religious projects were conceived and developed.

Although the Philippines acquired the property in 1941, the Office of the Resident Commission did not move in until 1943.

When the Philippines achieved independence and became a Republic in 1946, the Office of the Resident Commissioner became the Embassy of the Philippines, and the building became the Chancery.

In 1961, on the 19th Anniversary of the Fall of Bataan, in a ceremony attended by Chief Justice Warren, the Secretary of State, and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, and the District of Columbia’s Board of Commissioners, and the Philippine Ambassador to the United States Carlos P. Romulo and the Embassy Staff, the two (2) small streets along Scott Circle and became Bataan Street (behind Daniel Webster’s statue) and Corregidor Street (across Bataan Street).

The Ambassador's Official Residence


History of the Philippine Ambassador’s Official Residence
The cream-colored, three-storey sandstone mansion located at 2253 R Street, NW, Washington, D.C., was built in 1904 by William Lipscombs & Co. for retired General and Mrs. Charles L. Fitzhugh. It was designed by Waddy B. Wood of the firm, Wood, Donn and Dunning. A namesake and descendant of a Confederate General, Waddy Wood was the architect of such government buildings as the Department of the Interior and the old State War Navy Building. The Residence is a stone’s throw from what were once the homes of four (4) former U.S. Presidents – William Howard Taft, who was the first American Civil Governor of the Philippines, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding and Herbert C. Hoover.

The Official Residence became, successively, the temporary home of Clarence M. Wooley, Sherman Flint and the Czechoslovak Legation. In 1931, Republican Congressman from Illinois, Frederick Britten and Mrs. Alma Hand Weiner Britten took up residence in it. Even after Britten retired from public life in 1935, the Brittens continued to live at the Residence, and on 19 June 1941, bought the property from Mrs. Emma J. Fitzhugh, widow of General Fitzhugh.

In 1946, Philippine Resident Commissioner in the United States and later, first Ambassador to the U.S., Joaquin M. Elizalde, negotiated for the private purchase of the Residence from Mrs. Britten, widow of the Congressman. On 14 October 1946, ownership of the mansion was turned over to Ambassador and Mrs. Elizalde.

On 30 August 1949, the Philippine Government bought the property from the Elizaldes for $130,582.78. Elizalde stayed on as Ambassador until January 1952. Since then, it has been the Official Residence, at one point or another, of succeeding Philippine Ambassadors to the United States:

Ambassador Tenure
Carlos P. Romulo Jan 1952 – May 1953
Sept 1955 – Feb 1962
Emilio Abello Feb – Sept 1962
Amelito Mutuc Sept 1962 – Mar 1964
Oscar Ledesma July 1964 – June 1966
Salvador P. Lopez April 1968 – Mar 1969
Ernesto Lagdameo April 1969 – Aug 1971
Eduardo Z. Romualdez Oct. 1971 – 1982
Benjamin Romualdez July 1982 – March 1986
Emmanuel Pelaez April 1986 – Sept 1992
Pablo Suarez Oct 1992 – Jan 1993
Raul Ch. Rabe June 1993 – July 1999
Ernesto M. Maceda July 1999 – May 2001
Albert F. del Rosario Oct 2001 – July 2006
Willy C. Gaa July 2006 – February 2011

Holidays

The Embassy of the Philippines is closed on the following Federal and Philippine Holidays:

Separate proclamations will be issued for the observance of Eid'l Fitr and Eidul Adha.

 

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1 January 2012 (Sunday) - New Year’s Day (Philippines)
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