Monthly Archives: December 2013

PH Government Heeds the Call for TPS Request; POTUS Obama Called to Grant the Request

ALLIANCE NEWS
December 26, 2013

PH Government Heeds the Call for TPS Request; POTUS Obama Called to Grant the Request

Los Angeles- Finally, the Philippine government have heeded the call of more than 200 Filipino American organizations and have has formally requested Washington for additional immigration relief measures to allow eligible Filipinos to stay and work in the United States so they could support the country’s long-term post-typhoon recovery efforts, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Monday, 16 December.

The ALLIANCE NEWS reported that Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario said the request to designate the Philippines under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was officially conveyed on Friday, 13 December, by Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. to the Department of Homeland Security through a note verbale to the Department of State.

Alliance Philippines West Coast Coordinator Arturo P. Garcia is elated with the action of the Philippine government and President Noynoy Aquino III. Garcia said, “ It’s right time that the Aquino administration look after the interest of more than 5 million Filipino—Americans in the United States, the largest population of Filipinos outside of the homeland.”

Alliance calls on Obama to Approve the TPS Request

Garcia explained, “Now the ball is at the Obama’s Court. Thus the Alliance calls on President Obama to expedite and grant the request as soon as possible.”

Garcia also said; “ if Obama grant the request , the Philippines will join four other
countries that were placed under TPS after going through similar natural catastrophes. These are El Salvador and Haiti after these were devastated by earthquakes in 2001 and 2010 respectively and Nicaragua and Honduras after they were affected by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

The Alliance also thanked the more than 200 Filipino-American organizations across the US, backed by members of the US Senate and House of Representatives, the Catholic Church and other NGOs who have requested for the additional immigration relief measures that a TPS designation would be able to provide to Filipinos.

Note Verbale

The note verbale from the Philippine government stated:: “Recognizing the intense desire of the Filipino-American Community to more effectively assist victims, we would like to formally request that eligible Filipino nationals in the US be granted Temporary Protected Status under Section 244 of the US Immigration and Nationality Act,” said the letter signed by Ambassador Cuisia and addressed to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers.

The request was made in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,000 people; displaced more than 4 million and affected more than 12 million during its violent rampage across the Central Philippines last month.

Ambassador Cuisia said the Embassy has also been in discussions with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State and the DFA in Manila since the TPS was first brought to his attention a few days after Haiyan struck the country.

Ambassador Cuisia said the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Consulates General in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Agana made the recommendation to Secretary Del Rosario during their annual conference in Washington, D.C. last week and after extensive consultations with leaders of the Filipino Community in their respective jurisdictions.

Ambassador Cuisia explained that a TPS designation for the Philippines would allow eligible Filipinos currently in the US to support the long-term relief and rehabilitation efforts in the country because they could be given temporary authorization to stay and work for a limited period.

For more information about the alliance please call (213)241-0995 or email us at pilipinokami76@yahoo.com

FACLA/KOR-HFT COMMEMORATES 117TH RIZAL DAY WITH A DINNER/DANCE PARTY, DECEMBER 28

Press Release
Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA)
Knight of Rizal (KOR)-Historic Filipinotown Chapter
December 26, 2013

FACLA/KOR-HFT COMMEMORATES 117TH RIZAL DAY WITH A DINNER/DANCE PARTY, DECEMBER 28

Los Angeles—“Honor our Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal , Commemorate His Greatness”

The Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) led by President Austin Baul Jr and the Knights of Rizal-Historic Filipinotown Chapter led by its Chapter Chairman Dr. Veronico Agatep will lead the dinner and dance party on Saturday at 6: 00 PM at the FACLA Social Hall to commemorate the 117th Rizal Day in the United States.

On December 30, 1896, 117th years ago, the Spanish colonial government executed Dr. Jose Rizal by a firing squad after a mock trail in Luneta, Manila.

By the martyrdom of Dr. Rizal, the Philippine revolution that started on August 23, 1896 led by Supremo Andrez Bonifacio further gained momentum and later on June 12, 1897 declared its independence from Spain.

Rizal Day, December 30.

The Historic Filipinotown Chapter of the Knights of Rizal (KOR) and FACLA annually and jointly observed this patriotic holiday, December 30th in the Philippines in Los Angeles. There will be brief program before the dinner and dance party.

The FACLA Cultural Group led by Director Ganon will also show a tableau about the life and struggle of Dr. Jose Rizal.

There will also be a wreath laying ceremonies at the foot of the Rizal monument at FACLA on the morning of December 30, 2013, the actual Rizal Day commemoration.

The tickets can be bought at $ 10.00 at the gate for the KOR-Historic Filipinotown fundraiser.

For more information please call FACLA at (213)484-1527 or check our website at www.newfacla.org or our facebook at newfacla.

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THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

November 30, 2013
Los Angeles, CA

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

by Jerry Esguerra, Chair FACLA Disaster and Relief Commmittee

It is almost three weeks since the strongest typhoon that ever made landfall anywhere in the entire world hits the central region of the Philippine islands, but seemingly the state of relief and rehabilitation remains in a quandry according to many observers. There is no denying that Yolanda or Haiyan’s catastrophic onslaught is unparalleled, and to be fair, no organized society in the face of the earth could have ever been a hundred percent prepared, given the strength the typhoon had exhibited; but as many of us witness the ineptness of the Philippine government in dealing with the aftermath – one wonders if even before Yolanda ruthlessly pummeled TACLOBAN – the country was in a state of disaster already.

LIVING UP TO THE PERCEPTION

The calamity could have come in no better time than when the “pork barrel” scandal was beginning to gain grounds. Questionable use of public funds for dubious aims – a staple of real politik in the Philippines caught again the attention of Filipinos but in a much bigger way this time around. The anxiety that is grippping the nation is almost comparable to the magnitude brought about by wholesale corruption during the Marcos era – thanks to the rouge businesswoman Janet Napoles and a phalanx of disgruntled whistle-blowers.

The list of offenders coming from the Commission on Audit is a who’s who in Philippine politics: big names like Enrile, Ejercito, Revilla, Roxas and other personalities from both houses of Congress and key department heads.

Inarguably the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts by the Philippine government are viewed in the same light as the pork barrel issue: rigged with corruption and political opportunism.

RISING ABOVE THE FRAY

The response of the international community to the disaster is humbling to say the least. Countries from the poorest Bangladesh to the richest like Sweden, Hollywood and sports organizations funneled million of dollars and goods into the Philippine relief campaign.

Overnight, hundreds of organizations and self proclaimed do gooders sprouted. That is generally good for the victims but in the long run donation fatigue will set in, typical after big disasters like Katrina or Sandy here in the United States.

The question Tawid Baha is facing is how can we differentiate ourselves from the multitude. Embarking on sustainable projects is the way forward.

On the get go the project’s goal is premised in two demands: minimum and maximum. In the short term, the project should build its ability to respond quickly to a disaster and on the stretch; the creation of an educational program that focuses on prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation.

CRITICAL RESPONSE

Responding quickly doesn’t mean building a stockpile of goods and cash for emergency disaster relief operation ready to be disbursed in a drop of a hat. This ability is practically the employment of governments and institutions like the Red Cross, FEMA in the US, DSWD in the Philippines, the UN or other venerable group like the Catholic Church.

Our quick response means opening up the floodgates of information pertaining to particular disaster. One good example is alerting relief providers in our network of available recipients in ground zero. It will require in our part to build a directory of providers and targeted recipients. This is where data mining is paramount.

It is also our right to be critical of the existing system when it becomes ineffective. We will serve as the voice of the people in times of disasters.

But to set the record straight Tawid BAHA has no intention of reducing the role of private donors into diminutive role. Far from it, TAWID will position itself in building a road map wherein private donors are partnered with legitimate recipients in the affected areas. Meaning turning donations into more efficient resource or make the yield to the victims maximum, dollar for dollar comparatively; not 25% or 75% but 100% in most instances.

Here lies where Tawid gives more emphasis on coalition rather than donation. Tawid believes that in doing so, generating funds will be consequential in the long run.

THE SHORT TERM

A day after Yolanda, Tawid Baha gained traction quickly. Banking on FACLA’S history as the oldest and the biggest Filipino American organization in the western US, Tawid’s media blitz was launched with confidence. Alternative media outlets like Pacifica Radio and even mainstream ones (Chanel 52, RT, Asian Journal, Tfc etc.) picked up on the idea. Branding came to us overnight.

Taking advantage of this new found notoriety and maintain momentum Tawid Baha is launching a series of events:

1. Makeshift Memorial for Tacloban – a partipatory art installation in memory of the victims and survivors of the Tacloban disaster.
A test run that lasted 3 hours was held last November 27 in front of the Philippine Consular Office in Wilshire Blvd. It was well received.

A second one is scheduled for December 23 at the same location. This time around it will be a full day event. It wiil run from 7am to 8pm and will culminate with cultural shows, speak out and a candlelight vigil. Tentative co-sponsors are Alliance Philippines, Bantay Pilipinas, Danza Azteca, ANSWER-LA.

2. Hip Hop Fundraising Event in partnership with a Latino coalition of rappers Voces Clandestino. We met the coordinator at the first Makeshift Memorial for Tacloban event.

3. Dinner Dance Fundraiser for Tawid Baha Scholarship Program. Contemplated last summer, it will finally happen given the momentum we are gaining. An ad-hoc is forming and the high profile event is slated for early February.

THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

This is the flagship project for Tawid Baha.

Our goal is building an enduring legacy for the New Filipino American Community of Los Angeles.

The degree, the speed and direction of this project could only be determined with how big a stride we make in forging alliances.

The time to act is now.

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