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U.S. Embassy in Manila to continue operations despite shutdown

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomes President of the Republic of the Philippines Benigno S. Aquino III, (R), during a luncheon at the Department of State, on June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. Later today President Aquino is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. (MNS photo)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 08: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomes President of the Republic of the Philippines Benigno S. Aquino III, (R), during a luncheon at the Department of State, on June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. Later today President Aquino is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Operations at the U.S. Embassy in Manila will continue despite the budget lapse that led to the shutdown of American government agencies.

“Activities carried out by the Bureau of Consular affairs, both domestically and abroad, are fee-funded and will continue operations,” embassy spokesman Kurt Hoyer said on Wednesday.

“The department will continue visa issuance overseas. We will also continue our passport operations,” he added.

The shutdown of US government agencies was caused by failure to meet a deadline to pass a budget, sparking speculations that President Barack Obama may completely forgo his Asian trips, including a two-day visit to the Philippines, or limit his travel time in Asia to deal with the crisis.

“Previously, the department relied on a mixture of fees and appropriated funds for its consular operations but has moved to funding from retained fees,” Hoyer explained.

“Thus, we can continue these operations even given the appropriations lapse. The Department will continue visa issuance overseas,” he said. (MNS)

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