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02/09/2011: Filipino Community in Tennessee in Full Support of SAVE Act and Other Phl Government Initiatives

Above photo: Consul Angelito Nayan briefs the Filipino community in Memphis City on the Save Our Industries Act. After the meeting, the guests signed letters addressed to their legislators seeking their support for SAVE Act.

Lower photo: At least eighty people attended the town hall meeting held on August 25, 2011 at St. Francis of Assissi Church in Cordova, Tennessee.

02 September 2011, Washington, DC – The Economic and Cultural Officers of the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington DC together with the Philippine Tourism Director in Chicago met with the Filipino community in a town hall meeting in Memphis, Tennessee on August 25.

The Embassy and Tourism officers were in Memphis last August 25-26 to hold meetings and ocular visit for the Memphis in May International Festival which will honor the Philippines in 2012.

In the town hall meeting, Second Secretary and Consul Angelito Nayan briefed the community on the Save Our Industries Act (SAVE Act) that is pending in the US Congress and which seeks to strengthen trade in garments and textiles between the Philippines and the United States.  If enacted, SAVE Act will restore hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the Philippine garments sector and will create thousands of jobs in the US textile sector. It will also give a much needed boost to the US textile industry.

The SAVE Act was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate (S.1244) last June by Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), with Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) as original co-sponsors. It is filed as H.R. 2387 in the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsored by Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA), with Steve Austria (R-OH), Bob Filner (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) as original co-sponsors. In the past month, an additional six members of the US House of Representatives have joined as co-sponsors, namely, Madeleine Bordallo (D- Guam), Charles Rangel (D- NY), Peter King (R-NY), Joseph Crowley (D-NY)), Coleen Hannabusa (D-HI) and Joe Pitts (R-PA).

To help push for the passage of the SAVE Act, the Filipinos signed letters addressed to their legislators urging them to support this important bill.

L-R: Photo shows Tourism Director from Chicago Vernie Morales, FILAMemphis President Mr. Rolando Gersava, Cultural Officer Corina Apostol-Reyes and Economic Officer Angelito Nayan after the successful town hall meeting with the Filipino community held on August 25, 2011 in Cordova, Tennessee.

Third Secretary and Vice Consul Corina Apostol-Reyes informed the body that registration for the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) will begin on October 31, 2011 and will run for a year. Registration for the OAV will allow Filipinos abroad to participate in the 2013 elections in the Philippines. In view of this call, many former Filipinos inquired on the process for acquiring dual citizenship and requested consular outreach in Memphis.

Tourism Director Vernie Morales presented the Pinoy Homecoming program and urged the attendees to visit the Philippines soon. The program offers affordable tour packages in many travel destinations in the Philippines including Banaue, Boracay, Bohol and Davao. She also sought their support for the inclusion of the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Voting will end this November.

At least eighty Filipinos and Filipino-Americans from various organizations in Tennessee and Arkansas attended the town hall meeting organized by the FILAMemphis. - END