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21/02/2012: Ambassador Cuisia Urges NCIV Volunteers to Continue to Invest in Filipino-American Ties

Ambassador Jose Cuisia speaks before a group of volunteers of the National Council for International Visitors during a reception at the Embassy’s Romulo Hall.

21 February 2012, Washington DC. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. hosted a reception at the Embassy’s Romulo Hall last February 17 for volunteers of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV), a network of national program agencies and community organizations throughout the United States whose members design and implement professional programs, provide cultural activities, and offer home hospitality opportunities for foreign leaders, specialists, and scholars participating in the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and other exchanges.

In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia cited the important work of the NCIV in ensuring that a substantive and memorable program is given to international visitors.  He also noted that the ties between Filipinos and Americans are strong and growing stronger, and that we must continue to invest in them through activities like the State Department’s IVLP.  “I look forward to working with you, so we may contribute and influence positively the future direction of Philippine-U.S. relationship,” the Ambassador remarked.

The Philippines has been participating in the IVLP since the 1960s.  In 2011, 45 Filipinos participated in the IVLP.  The most recent visit involved a group of eight members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter, who traveled to Washington, D.C. and New York City from January 29 to February 8 this year to deepen their understanding of the American judiciary system and rule of law.

Led by Atty. Farah Decano, President of IBP Pangasinan Chapter, the group paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Cuisia on February 1.  The Ambassador remarked that “with committed judges and lawyers like them who want to see a better judicial system, the country will face a brighter future.”

Shown in the photo above are, from left to right, (front row) Atty. Arginald C. Esguerra-Assistant Regional Secretary of IBP Central Luzon, Atty. Farah G. Decano-President of IBP Pangasinan Chapter, Consul Emil T. Fernandez of the Philippine Embassy, (middle row) Judge Caridad V. Galvez-Regional Trial Court of Dagupan, Atty. Paz Serafica-Cayabyab-Member of IBP Pangasinan Chapter, Judge Charina Casingal Sazon-Municipal Trial Court of Rosales, (back row) Atty. Cassandra M. Urbiztondo-Department of Social Welfare and Development, Atty. Hermielita Martinez Meneses-Court of Appeals of Manila, and Judge Cynthia Martinez Florendo-Regional Trial Court of Nueva Ecija.

The NCIV volunteers gathered in the nation’s capital from February 15 to 18 for its annual national conference.  The meeting serves as an opportunity for U.S. State Department officials, NGO leaders, and several hundred representatives of the NCIV’s 95 community organizations throughout the country to exchange ideas, develop knowledge, and cultivate skills in support of the IVLP and other exchanges.  A highlight of the event is the opportunity for NCIV members to meet ambassadors accredited to the U.S. through receptions hosted in foreign embassies. END