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14 April 2015 - Around 100 members of the Filipino community in the Bay Area met with Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Atty. Leni Gerona Robredo at a forum at the Philippine Center last March 30. Co-organized by the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in San Francisco (UPAASF), the forum gave Congresswoman Robredo the opportunity to share with the Filipino community developments in the Philippines.

Philippine Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon welcomed more than 100 guests to the Consulate General, including Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves the officers and members of the UP Alumni Association in San Francisco and other UP Alumni Association chapters and Filipino-American community members.  He thanked Congresswoman Robredo for taking time off from her brief visit to the Bay Area to meet and interact with members of the Filipino community. Deputy Consul General Ascalon noted that the forum was in line with the Consulate General’s thrust to promote empowerment, connectivity and continuity in the community, specifically, by updating the community on political and economic developments in the Philippines.

UPAASF alumnus Gabby Moraleda introduced Congresswoman Robredo as a new breed of legislator who places importance on transparency, accountability and good governance, while remaining humble. Among the bills she has championed in the House of Representatives are HB 4113 – People’s Participation in Budget Deliberation Bill, an act institutionalizing the people’s participation in the budget process; HB 19 – The Full Disclosure Bill, an act requiring full disclosure of information on fiscal management from all national government departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and other instrumentalities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, and their subsidiaries, and local government units, and providing penalties for violations thereof; and HB 3432 – Anti-Discrimination Bill of 2013, an act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, language, disability, HIV status, and other status, among other bills.

In her speech, Congresswoman Robredo highlighted the positive developments in the Philippines particularly in the economy as well as the good governance agenda of the Aquino Administration.  “From the pussycat economy of the past, riddled with concerns of poverty and corruption, our country is now regarded as an Asian tiger at last,” said Congresswoman Robredo.

The Congresswoman also stressed the importance of the Aquino administration’s pursuit of good governance as the “tipping point” that put the country on the global radar, and added that “the future of our country will depend more on a revolution that will be fought within all of us – whether based in the homeland or overseas.”  She encouraged the community to not just support a government that wants to govern well, but also ensure that Filipinos govern themselves better. END