Philippines-Spain Diplomatic Relations
Formal diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Spain was established on 27 September 1947. However, it was not until 6 March 1948 when the Philippines sent Mr. Manuel Escudero to head the Philippine Legation in Spain in his capacity as Minister Plenipotentiary. Aside from Mr. Escudero, the first Filipino diplomats assigned in the Philippine Legation in Madrid were Vice Consul Francisco Maraval and Finance Attaché Emilio Martinez.
In April 1951, the Philippines sent former Supreme Court Chief Justice Manuel V. Moran as its first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Spain. As of this time, there have already been fifteen (15) Philippine Ambassadors to Spain.
On 03 February 2003, bilateral relations between the Philippines and Spain was raised to a higher level when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act 9187, declaring June 30 of each year as Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day. The date coincides with the anniversary of the end of the Siege of Baler where the last Spanish colonial forces held out for 11 months against Filipino revolutionaries. As a gesture of friendship, then President Emilio Aguinaldo granted the survivors safe passage to Manila, en route to their return to Spain, in recognition of their valor and loyalty.
On 30 June 2011, the Spanish Congress of Deputies, through Speaker Jose Bono Martinez, made a historic Institutional Declaration on the occasion of the 9th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day. A similar declaration was made by the Spanish Senate, through Senate President Pio Garcia-Escudero Marquez, a year later.
Philippines-Spain Bilateral Agreements
- Treaty of Friendship between the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Spain (Signed on27 September 1947).
- Cultural Treaty between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish State (Signed on04 March 1949).
- Agreement Relating to the Reciprocal Abolition of Visa Requirements between the Philippines and Spain (Signed on12 March 1968).
- Air Transport Agreement between Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Spain (Signed on06 October 1951).
- Agreement on Technical Cooperation concerning Tourism between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Spain (Signed on04 May 1971).
- Convention on Social Security between the Philippines and Spain (Signed on21 May 1988).
- Convention between the Republic of the Philippines and Spain for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income (Signed on14 March 1989).
- Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and Spain on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments (Signed on19 October 1993).
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and the University of the Philippines for the creation of a “National Referral Center for Ophthalmology” (Signed on04 February 2000).
- Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain (Signed on02 March 2004).
- Treaty on Extradition between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain (Signed on02 March 2004).
- Treaty on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain (Signed on18 May 2007).
- Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain on Remunerated Employment for the Dependents of Diplomatic, Consular, Administrative, and Technical Personnel of Diplomatic and Consular Missions (Signed on24 March 2009).
- Sports Cooperation Programme between the Philippine Sports Commission and the High Council for Sport of Spain on Sports Cooperation (Signed on23 October 2012).
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Science and Technology Information and Communications Technology of the Republic of the Philippines and the State Secretariat for Telecommunications and the Information Society of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of the Kingdom of Spain with regard to the Cooperation in the Field of Information and Communications Technology (Signed on18 March 2013).
Copies of the treaties can be viewed at the Philippine Treaties Online website.
In 1997 under the guidance of Ambassador Isabel Caro Wilson, the Philippine Government purchased a 1,200 square meter property at Calle Eresma 2, corner Calle Guadalquivir, in the prime residential district of El Viso, where other Embassies were also located. Originally, a fifty-year old two-story manor house used to sit on the property until it was demolished to make way for the construction of the new chancery. After more than a year´s work, the new Embassy Chancery was inaugurated by then President Fidel V. Ramos in August 1998. The Chancery has two access gates – the Eresma gate leading to the first floor offices and the Guadalquivir gate leading to the Consular Office.