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13/05/2011: Ambassador Cuisia Congratulates Filipino Teachers on their Sound Advocacy and Unity

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (fourth from left) congratulates the President of the Pilipino Educators Network (PEN), Carlo Parapara PhD (rightmost), and PEN officer Millet Panga (second from right) at the Philippine Multicultural Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland on May 7. (Photo courtesy of PEN)

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (fourth from left) congratulates the President of the Pilipino Educators Network (PEN), Carlo Parapara PhD (rightmost), and PEN officer Millet Panga (second from right) at the Philippine Multicultural Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland on May 7. (Photo courtesy of PEN)

May 13, 2011, Washington, DC – Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. met the Filipino teachers in Prince George’s (PG) county and congratulated them on the unity they demonstrated and strategic action they have taken in addressing the policy of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) on the status of international teachers.

The Ambassador welcomed the recent decision of PGCPS to rescind its policy of making a determination on the renewal of visas of international teachers based on their certification in a critical or non critical subject area. This policy issued in March would have led to the loss of jobs of many Filipino teachers in PG County and consequently, their work visas.

“I am very pleased to hear about this good news. From the beginning, the Embassy monitored this issue and explored ways on how to help the teachers. We commend our Filipino teachers for the unity they have shown and for the swift and deliberate action by which they have approached this case,” the Ambassador remarked.

PEN led the Filipino teachers in consolidating their position and resources to assert their rights and mitigate the impact that the county decision would have brought to the teachers and their families. They sought the assistance of Delgate Kris Valderrama who arranged a dialogue between the teachers and PGCPS. The successful campaign of the teachers was a true community undertaking as they were also assisted by the PG County Educators’ Association, the lawyers in the Filipino-American community and the Embassy of the Philippines, among others.

In his letter to PEN, PGCPS Superintendent Dr. William Hite further committed, “…we will continue to sponsor teachers as long as they meet the other necessary requirements without regard to assignment or certification.” -- END