In the Senate of the Philippines on Monday, Mohamad Wassim Nanaa, a Syrian, Margarita Melian Ortigas, a Spaniard born in the Philippines, Kitshon Soriano Kho, a Chinese businessman and Hans Guenter Schoof, a German philanthropist, were all granted Filipino citizenship, The Manila Times reported.

Nanaa was appointed as Philippine honorary consul general to Aleppo in 2008 and showed exceptional service in promoting Philippine-Syrian bilateral economic and cultural cooperation. He also protected the rights and interests of Filipino migrant workers in Syria, and helped repatriate Filipinos during the 2011 civil war in his homeland.

Kho, 33, is the youngest among the four to be granted Filipino citizenship. He is the son of Jose Kho, a Chinese billionaire who funded the construction of drug rehabilitation and treatment centers in Visayas and Mindanao.

German philanthropist Schoof financed the renovation of the Rizal Park in Manila, co-published the only German translation of El Filibusterismo (a novel written by Philippine national hero Jose Rizal) and financed the construction of the Rizal statue in Peru and in the provincial capital of Bohol.