US Embassy in Manila remains open, says exec

US Embassy in Manila remains open, says exec

MANILA - The United States Embassy in Manila will continue to operate despite the shutdown of government agencies in the US over a budget standoff between its Executive and Congress.

"The Department [of State] will continue visa issuance overseas. We will also continue our passport operations," Kurt Hoyer, First Secretary and Press Attache of the US Embassy, said in a text message Wednesday.

"Activities carried out by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, both domestically and abroad, are fee-funded and will continue operations," he said.

The US government recently shut down many of its offices due to a failure of Congress to pass the budget on September 30.

The shutdown on October 1 was the first time in 17 years.

Essential services such as the police and military will remain open. Many parks, museums, and veteran's offices will be closed.

Hoyer said that the Department of State was now relying on funding from fees collected for its services. Previously they depended on a mixture of appropriated funds and fees.

"Previously, the Department relied on a mixture of fees and appropriated funds for its consular operations, but has moved to funding from retained fees," he said.

"Thus, we can continue these operations even given the appropriations lapse," Hoyer added.

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