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22/09/2011: President Aquino Meets with Filipino Community in DC, MD, VA

President of the Philippines Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message to the Filipino-American community in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. With him on the stage are from left, Pilipino Educators Network President Carlo Parapara, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario, Filipino World War II Veteran Celestino Almeda, Feed the Hungry, Inc. Executive Director Emeritus Tessie Alarcon, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., and Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar A. Roxas.

September 22, 2011, Washington, DC – President Benigno S. Aquino III concluded his three-day visit to the United States with a meeting with the Filipino community in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. The President was in the US upon the invitation of US President Barack Obama to attend the launch of the Open Government Partnership, an international initiative aimed to secure commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make government more open, effective and accountable.

On 21 September 2011, President Aquino addressed the Filipino and Filipino-American community at the Fairfax Hotel in Washington, DC. The President conveyed the good news about the Philippines such as the P9 billion budget surplus in August 2011, the decline in unemployment rate from 8% to 7.2% year on year and the two million poorest families that have benefited from the Conditional Cash Transfer program.

Almost 400 Filipino community leaders from metropolitan Washington, DC and from as far as Baltimore in Maryland and Richmond and Virginia Beach in Virginia attended the event to meet the President. Elected and appointed Filipino-Americans in the US government were likewise in attendance, including White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford. The Filipino veterans of World War II were also present in the meeting.

The Filipinos in the United States are some of the most successful Filipinos outside the Philippines and they remain committed to the development agenda in the country. The President informed them, “And all it takes really is the will of the people to make sure that the changes we are now making on our country become permanent changes for the better.” - END