Consul General Mario L. de Leon, Jr. with Atty. Tess Dizon de Vega at the Filipino Reporter editorial office in New York.  (FR file photo)

After five years of serving as the top official of the Philippine Consulate General New York (PCGNY), Consul General Mario L. de Leon, Jr. announced that he ends his tour of duty on June 30, 2016, according to a press release sent to the Filipino Reporter by the PCGNY last Wednesday.

He will be moving to a senior position in the DFA Home Office in July.

De Leon further announced that Atty. Tess Dizon de Vega, presently the Chief Coordinator of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, is slated to take the helm when he leaves.

He welcomes the designation of de Vega who was the former PCGNY deputy consul general from 2011 to 2013 and is well known in the community.

A career diplomat, de Leon assumed his post on March 1, 2011, and arrived to a rather fractious Filipino-American community.

Foremost in his agenda was to bring reconciliation among some sectors and encourage cooperation among organization leaders.

He has done more than repair community relations; the hardworking ConGen has initiated programs covering the three pillars of foreign policy: economic diplomacy, national security and assistance to nationals in distress.

Ever-present and visible in the community, ConGen has put people-to-people relations a top priority during his term and has always advocated uplifting the profile of Filipinos in the mainstream American society.

He has led a pacific Filipino-American community who have bonded in solidarity over some of his legacy programs such as the Build-A-Shelter Project (for Yolanda survivors), Geographic Warden System, Leadership and Management Seminar for Organization Leaders, Leadership and Mentoring Seminar for the Emerging Generation, Homecoming sa Konsulado, Filipino Restaurant Week, the return of Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado, just to name a few.