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07/08/2012: Ambassador Cuisia Keynotes NaFFAA Empowerment Conference in Detroit, Michigan

07 AUGUST 2012, WASHINGTON, DC. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. served as the keynote speaker during the 10th National Empowerment Conference of the National Federation of Filipino American Association (NaFFAA) in Detroit, Michigan last August 4.  With the theme, “NaFFAA at 15: Celebrating our Identity and Solidarity,” the event served as a platform to the Filipino American community for interaction and dialogue on pressing issues, such as the Save Our Industries (SAVE) Act, Filipino veterans, immigration reform and active participation in the U.S. political processes, among other things.  Representatives from business, government, non-government organizations, program administrators and innovators throughout the country were present.

In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia provided an overview of the current relations between the Philippines and the United States, citing the strengthening of the two countries’ bilateral relations as evidenced by the increased number of high-level exchanges among public officials.  He noted the economic upturn being experienced in the Philippines, as evidenced by numerous credit rating upgrades and all-time highs in the country’s stock exchange index.  The Ambassador reiterated his clamor for Filipino Americans to be politically empowered, so the community may move forward and grow towards becoming a more relevant force in both the Philippine and U.S. societies.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. delivers his keynote remarks during the 10th National Empowerment Conference of NaFFAA last August 4, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Ms. Bing Branigin)

Ambassador Cuisia also led the induction ceremony of incoming officers of NaFFAA.  They include Eduardo Navarra, National Chair, JT Mallonga, National Vice-Chair, Bart Tubalinal, National Treasurer and Jelly Carandang, National Secretary, and members of Board of Governors: Bing Branigin, Joy Bruce, Gloria Caoile, Willie DeChavez, Romy de la Paz, Rommel De Vera, Jing Espiritu, Brendan Flores, Jon Melegrito, Steven Raga, and Rodel Rodis.

Also in attendance from the Philippine Embassy were Commercial Counselor Roseni Alvero of the Philippine Trade and Investment Office, who spoke on the SAVE Act, and General Delfin Lorenzana (Ret.) of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, who provided an update on the World War II Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation.  US-Philippines Society Executive Director Hank Hendrickson also presented the Society’s mission and program activities to the NaFFAA members.

Established in 1997, NaFFAA is a private, non-profit, non-partisan tax-exempt organization that promotes the active participation of Filipino Americans in civic and national affairs.  It is composed of twelve regions with a national office in Washington, D.C. that monitors legislation and public policy issues affecting Filipino Americans. END