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06/02/2012: Ambassador Cuisia Inducts Officers of the World Bank-IMF Filipino Staff Association; Discusses Key Philippine Developments

06 FEBRUARY 2012, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. inducted today the re-elected officers of the World Bank-IMF Filipino Staff Association (WBIFA), held at the IMF HQ1 in Washington, DC.

“During President’s Aquino’s public lecture at the World Bank last 22 September 2011, no less than World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick recognized your competence, efficiency, and hard work as professionals at the Fund and the Bank”, said Ambassador Cuisia during the luncheon-forum.

The Ambassador also explained that it was a “banner year” for the Philippine-US relations in 2011, i.e., the Philippines’ membership in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in September, the signing of the Partnership for Growth (PFG) and the PH-US Trade Facilitation Protocol in November, and the 60th Anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). The Ambassador also confirmed the successful conclusion of a productive Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) two weeks ago.

As a former Philippine Central Bank Governor in the early 1990s, Ambassador Cuisia welcomed the results of the recent IMF Staff Mission to Manila which confirmed the Philippines’ “generally sound macroeconomic conditions.” He also highlighted the continued optimism about the Philippines’ potential as the “investment site of choice”, given the increasing number of top international business locators in the country.

Ms. Elizabeth King, WBIFA President and WB Director for Education under the Human Development Network, explained the association’s fundraising initiative, through e-Give, to help the victims of Typhoon Sendong, with “matched funding” from both the IMF and the Bank; and also provided updates on initiatives such as financial literacy courses and mentoring programs.

WBIFA members expressed support to the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) campaign as well as the 2012 Memphis in May (MIM) International Festival where the Philippines is the honored country in terms of cultural exhibits and performances, culinary demonstrations, and business and trade forums.

Since the early 1980s, the WBIFA provides its members with “updated information on events in the Metropolitan Area and elsewhere in the US such as cultural presentations and shows, social events, economic forums, panel discussions and seminars, with a focus on the Philippines.” It estimated that the Association has around 600 members. END.

Ambassador Cuisia presided the induction ceremony for the re-elected officers of the WBIFA. L-R: Ms. Gilda Ordoñez-Baric, Deputy Secretary; Ms. Aurora Siy, Secretary; Mr. Brian Pascual, Treasurer; Ambassador Cuisia; Ms. Elizabeth King, President; and Ms. Antoinette “Toni” Dakanay, Second Vice-President.

Ambassador Cuisia addresses the WBIFA members; commends the association on their e-Give fundraising drive to help victims of Typhoon Sendong.

Ambassador and Mrs. Vicky Cusia with the WBIFA officers and members.