Philippine Embassy in DC holds townhall meet with Pinoys
Consul General Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga updates Filipino community members on consular requirements and processes.
Philippine Embassy in DC holds townhall meet with Pinoys
THIS WEEK ON PEOPLEASIA - Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2020 - 12:00am

Wherever they may be in the world, Filipinos always play an important role in nation building, and the positive reputation they generate go a long way in enhancing and strengthening diplomatic ties with the host country.

In the US, members of the Filipino and Filipino-American community are very active, and the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC regularly engages with them to facilitate their participation and involvement as we progress as one nation. 

We ushered in the Year of the Rat by conducting a townhall meeting, the first for 2020, at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building with members of the Filipino community in Washington, DC and nearby areas. This was held to keep them updated about our services and the continuous improvements we are making to ensure their welfare, and enriching the ties between the Philippines and the US, as our new Deputy Chief of Mission Rene Villa noted.

Double Dragon’s Jose Roderick Manalo

Newly appointed Consul General Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga also shared updated information on consular requirements and processes to ensure an efficient and positive experience with the consulate. In addition, a Facebook page of the Consul General was also launched. This social media platform will allow the Filipino community to easily engage the consulate about their questions and concerns.

Many expressed their concern about the situation in the Philippines due to the eruption of Taal Volcano and want to help out their kababayans. Vice Consul and public diplomacy officer Darell Artates gave details on how prospective donors can course their assistance to the affected families.

Vice Consul and public diplomacy officer Darell Artates

On the topic of entrepreneurship and business, commercial counsellor Raymond Batac discussed the important elements of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan initiative and expounded on current business trends and opportunities available in the Philippines.

Jose Roderick Manalo of Double Dragon Properties presented the benefits of investing in the Philippines, particularly on the real estate sector. Double Dragon, which is a partnership between young billionaire Edgar “Injap” Sia and Jollibee’s Tony Tan Caktiong, is proving to be a major player in the real estate industry, aiming to accumulate 1.2 million square hectares of leasable space in 2020. A flagship project of the company — which can be a good investment prospect for Filcom members according to Manalo — is Hotel 101, which aims to be the first fully Filipino-owned hotel property with numerous branches to be opened all around the Philippines

Also featured during the townhall is the annual Very Important Pinoy (VIP) Tour for 2020, a collaborative project among the Philippine Foreign Services Posts in the United States and the Department of Tourism. This year, VIP Tour participants will be able to visit famous destinations Manila, Iloilo, and Boracay this coming July. 

Deputy Chief of Mission Rene Villa

A tour package geared towards the younger generation of Filipino-Americans is ReRooted Pilipinas by Melody Agbisit and Naomi Estaris of Just Go Philippines. The tour this April will take participants around the cities of Manila, Tacloban, Cebu and Dumaguete. As their planned visit will coincide with the upcoming 50th anniversary of Earth Day, visitors will not only enjoy the beauty and culture of the Philippines but will also take part in mangrove planting to strengthen the integrity of the islands.

The townhall also provided an opportunity for the attendees to be reminded about the importance of the upcoming US Census, with Krystle Canare and Justine Suegay of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) as well as Mary Therese Tablante of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) emphasizing the importance of being represented in the census because of its far-reaching effects on US government policies and programs in the next decade.

FILIPINO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY PHILIPPINE EMBASSY
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