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History of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and Switzerland

On 30 August 1956, Switzerland and the Philippines established diplomatic relations, with the year 2006 marking their relations’ golden anniversary.

Swiss-Philippine bilateral relations actually predate formal diplomatic relations. Interaction between the two countries can be traced back to the early 1800s when Swiss traders, missionaries and travelers ventured into Southeast Asia. The idea of opening a Swiss official representation in the Philippines was initiated in 1851, which finally culminated in the establishment of a Swiss honorary consulate in Manila in 1862. Since then, exchanges between the two countries have flourished, particularly in the economic, cultural, social and political spheres. These collaborative efforts have also been strengthened through the signing of numerous agreements in the fields of investments, visa waiver, mutual legal assistance, extradition, avoidance of double taxation, social security, and exchange of professional and technical trainees, among others. 

Philippines-Liechtenstein Relations

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Principality of Liechtenstein were formally established on 24 November 1995 when Ambassador Tomas T. Syquia, Philippine Ambassador to Berne, Switzerland, presented his credentials as a non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the Principality of Liechtenstein to His Serene Highness Prince Hans Adam II. This momentous occasion marked the initial step towards furthering our relationship with a country in Europe which has become a favorite home for many companies because of its liberal tax legislation.

History of The Philippine Embassy In Berne

After the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Switzerland on 30 August 1956, Ambassador Salvador P. Lopez, Philippine Ambassador to Paris, was concurrently accredited to Berne on 21 June 1957.  Ambassador Tomas de Castro was the first resident Philippine Ambassador accredited to Switzerland.

The following served as Ambassadors:

Tomas G. De Castro (1959-1964); Modesto Farolan (1965-1968); Bartolome Umayam (1969-1972); Hortencio C. Brilliantes (1973-1977); Rolando A. Garcia (1978-1981); Armando D. Manalo (1985-1986); Luis V. Ascalon (1987-1992); Tomas T. Syquia (1993-2000); Rora Navarro-Tolentino (2000-2006); Minerva Jean A. Falcon (2007-2008);  Maria Theresa P. Lazaro (2008-2011); Leslie J. Baja (2011-present)

The following served as Chargé d’ Affaires for at least three months:

Tomas G. de Castro (1958-1964); Rolando A. Garcia (1969-1972); Domingo L. Siazon, Jr. (1973);  Teresita V. Prado (1978); Luis V. Ascalon (1982-1985 and 1986-1987); Ma. Fe Pangilinan-Klingert (1992-1993); Marilyn J. Alarilla (2000), Lamberto Monsanto (2006-2007), Margarita S. Ibayan (2011).

The following are among the major agreements between the Philippines and Switzerland:
  • Agreement Relating to Air Services between the Republic of the Philippines and Switzerland  (Signed in Manila on 8 March 1952, ratified on 5 October 1953, concurred on 21 may 1953, entered into force on 25 November 1953); 
  • Treaty on Extradition between the Republic of the Philippines and Switzerland (Signed in Berne on 19 October 1989, ratified on 6 August 1990, concurred on 27 November 1995, entered into force on 23 February 1997); 
  • Treaty of Friendship between the Republic of the Philippines and the Swiss Confederation (Signed in Manila on 30 August 1956, entered into force on 18 November 1957); 
  • Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the Swiss Confederation on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment (Signed in Manila on 31 March 1997, ratified on 25 June 1998, entered into force on 23 April 1999); 
  • Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the Swiss Confederation on the Readmission of Persons with Unauthorized Stay (Signed on 9 July 2002, ratified on 13 January 2003, entered into force on 25 February 2003); 
  • Convention between the Republic of the Philippines and the Swiss Confederation for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income (Signed in manila on 24 June 1998, ratified on 30 September 1998, concurred on 5 February 2001, entered into force on 30 April 2001)
  • Interim Agreement on Trade (Signed on 2 July 1946, entered into force on 28 October 1956); 
  • Agreement on the Abolition of Visa Requirements for Holders of Valid Diplomatic and Official Passport between the Government of the Philippines and the government of Switzerland (Signed in Manila on 19 October 1973, entered into force on 16 November 1973).
Addresses of the Embassy Chancery in Berne:

1958-1965        Kramgasse 63, 3011 Berne
1965-1978        Kornhausplatz 7, 3011 Berne
1978-1996        Hallwylstrasse 34, 3005 Berne
1996-2001        Brunnmattstrasse 24, 3007 Berne
2001-present    Kirchenfeldstrasse 73-75, 3005 Berne

 
The President of the Republic of the Philippines
The Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines
The Secretary of Foreign Affairs
The Ambassador
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