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The changing landscape in Phl |


The changing landscape in Phl

The changing landscape in Phl
Giving an overview on the transformation happening in the Philippines at the sixth International Speaker Series in Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Manassas campus.

I was invited as speaker for the sixth International Speaker Series held recently at the Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Manassas campus, where we faced a capacity audience of students and faculty of International Business, Finance and History of Western Civilization, among many others. NVCC is the second largest community college in the United States with over 70,000 students and faculty members spread across six campuses.

Prior to the speaking engagement, I met with NVCC Manassas provost, Dr. Molly Lynch; College Global Studies Committee vice chairman Prof.  Frank Ferrara, who is also the principal proponent and organizer of the International Speaker Series; Dave Stegmaier, who is director of Community Outreach in the office of Virginia 10th District Representative Barbara Comstock; the deans and faculty members of NVCC and the students under the College’s honors program.

A capacity audience composed of students and faculty of NVCC Manassas campus.

I was told that I am the first speaker from Asia to be featured in the International Speaker Series, and my talk centered on the economic, social and political transformation that is happening within the Philippine landscape.

I briefed the audience on the steps that the Duterte administration is taking to restore the people’s trust and confidence in government and the President’s strong efforts to eradicate corruption, improve the delivery of services and combat the illegal drugs menace. I also discussed moves to shift to a federal form of government as many see it as more appropriate for a culturally diverse country such as the Philippines (which has over 7,000 islands), and the massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure agenda of the government.

With (from left) community outreach director Dave Stegmaier from the office of Virginia Representative Barbara Comstock, NVCC Manassas provost Dr. Molly Lynch and College Global Studies Committee vice chairman Prof. Frank Ferrara.

As I explained to the students and faculty, the mammoth infrastructure program is at the center of the administration’s economic agenda to drive rapid and inclusive economic growth, with more investments coming in that would create jobs and significantly reduce poverty.

I also touched on the tax reform program being undertaken by the Philippines and the ongoing consultations regarding a possible Free Trade Agreement with the US. Another key issue is the plight of overseas Filipino workers and the social impact of these OFWs’ separation from their families.

With regard to our foreign policy, I told the audience that the Philippines seeks to be “a friend to all and enemy to none.” I also highlighted the assistance provided by the US in liberating Marawi City from ISIS-affiliated terrorists and the ongoing reconstruction efforts, and the possibility of enhancing cooperation in the area of counter-narcotics and counterterrorism.

Prof . Rebecca Hayes(left), chairman of Manassas Campus Honors Program. Philippine Embassy Vice Consul Darell Artates and Prof. Frank Ferrara(right).

A no-holds-barred Q&A session with the students and faculty members followed, which proved to be very interesting and thought-provoking as they had a lot of questions about the Philippines.

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