Pinoys in LA laud admin gains in meeting with PNoy
Filipino community groups in Los Angeles and southwestern United States met with President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday to personally express their appreciation for his administration's reforms.
Jose Bañas, vice president of umbrella organization Kalayaan Inc., said he was specifically struck by the progress in the field of education, particularly the implementation of the K-to-12 program.
"The big step of moving education from a K-10 structure to K-12 is a huge initiative that the government has taken in the last two years," said Bañas, an assistant principal in Rosemead High School.
"That makes Filipinos more globally competitive," he added.
The meeting took place at the Ballroom of Hilton LAX on February 17 and marked the conclusion of Aquino's working visit to the US for the ASEAN-US Summit.
More than 800 members of Filipino community groups attended the event, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. and Consul General to Los Angeles Leo Herrera-Lim were also present.
Aquino, whose term will end in June, told the audience that major reforms in education, health, and local governance have ushered in a period of steady economic growth and social transformation in the Philippines.
Elito Santarina, mayor pro tem of the City of Carson in California, said such developments gave Filipinos in the US "sentiments of awe, sentiments of appreciation, feeling of accomplishment and feelings of relief."
Cusia said they hope the reform agenda would be continued by future administrations.
"Most of us are hopeful that the next Administration would preserve and build on the gains of the past five and a half years," he said.
He added that Filipinos in the US "continue to exhort the Government to safeguard the welfare and well-being of overseas Filipino workers, more specifically those who are victims of illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons."
In closing, Aquino called on the Filipino communities to foster greater camaraderie and unity in pursuit of common goals.
The DFA said the Filipino population in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and in southern Nevada and southern California numbers at around 1.13. million, most of them professionals in the fields of healthcare, accounting and law enforcement. —KBK, GMA News