CALASIAO, Pangasinan — The Regional Cultural Office (RCO) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) finally opened on Sunday at Robinson’s Place here which was graced by former President Fidel V. Ramos as the office was named after his late father, then Foreign Affairs Secretary Narciso Ramos.

The grand opening last Sunday was also attended by former Senator Leticia Ramos Shahani, her son Pangasinan’s Sixth District Board Member Ranjit Shahani and Mrs. Narciso Ramos, widow of the late former Foreign Affairs Secretary Narciso Ramos, the step mother of both former President Ramos and former Senator Shahani.

The grand opening of RCO preceded its soft opening of the RCO sometime in December. Since its soft opening, it was only processing 60 passports a day in just a limited operation.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis and Asst. Secretary Frank Cimafranca graced the occasion.

Seguis said the RCO was put up in order to serve the people of Pangasinan whose population comprise more than 59 percent of the population of Region 1.

The RCO will soon eventually serve Cagayan Valley and part of Tarlac and Zambales as well.

Seguis paid tribute to Board Member Shahani for painstakingly following up the putting up of the RCO with DFA in Manila. It was Shahani who authored a resolution in the Pangasinan Pdovincial Board seeking the establishment of the RCO at Robinson’s Place Calasiao.

Erving Wu, head of the Robinson’s Land Group, said the putting up of RCO at Robinson’s Place Calasiao was part of the agreement signed by his company and DFA covering 10 RCOs throughout the country.

He said the RCO at Robinson’s Place in Calasiao is the ninth RCOs put up in Robinson’s malls throughout the country rent-free.

Others who graced the opening were Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim who represented Gov. Amado Espino Jr., and Calasiao Mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay. PNA/northboundasia.com