VP Robredo to grace National Empowerment Conference in DC

Thursday, July 28th, 2016. Filed under: Local News

U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott to give opening keynote speech

(photo courtesy of http://www.empowermentphilly.com/)

(photo courtesy of http://www.empowermentphilly.com/)

Washington, D.C. – Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo has accepted NaFFAA’s invitation to attend the 12th National Empowerment Conference, which will be held next month in Valley Forge, PA, a city 25 miles north of Philadelphia.

She will be the featured speaker at the gala dinner on Saturday, Aug. 6, following an early evening reception in her honor.

“We are extremely delighted and honored that the Vice President is coming to our conference,” says Loida Nicolas Lewis, National Chair Emeritus and one of NaFFAA’s founders. “In addition to her position of national leadership, her well-known advocacy on behalf of women and the country’s poor makes her presence deeply meaningful and significant. As an organization dedicated to civic engagement and community empowerment, NaFFAA can certainly relate to the worthy causes she has passionately championed.”

Robredo was recently appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). She said she welcomed her new role because housing was one of the major concerns of her late husband, former Interior & Local Governments Secretary Jessie Robredo. He was killed in a plane crash in 2012. The Vice President said the Cabinet post would allow her to tackle problems that have deprived marginalized sectors of society from enjoying a better quality of life.

“We are, of course, excited that the second highest official of the Republic of the Philippines is joining us,” says Conference Chair Aida Rivera. “There has already been a surge of interest and attendance. It’s not too late to register and participate in the various plenary sessions and workshops as well as listen to other prominent speakers. Please visit our website for more details.”

The venue for this year’s National Empowerment Conference is the Valley Forge Casino Resort on 1160 1st Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406. For more information, go to http://www.empowermentphilly.com/

Opening Keynote. U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D) of Virginia, the first American with Filipino ancestry to serve as a voting member of Congress, will give the opening keynote address Friday morning, Aug. 5. Scott represents the state’s third district, which includes the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Richmond where large Filipino populations are located.

A strong advocate of Filipino American issues, Scott was among the first to sign on as co-sponsor of HR 2737, the Filipino Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015. He has consistently supported legislation over the years providing benefits to Filipino World War II veterans, including repeal of the 1946 Rescission Acts.

Recognition of the Filipino and American soldiers for their wartime service to the Philippines and the United States will be the main focus during a panel on “Filipinos in the Military.” Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret), Chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) will make the case for why the 260,000 soldiers who fought under the USAFEE deserve the country’s highest civilian award.

“Now that the Senate has approved this measure, we must urge House members to follow the Senate lead and pass this legislation while some of our veterans are still alive,” Taguba said. “But we need Filipino Americans across the country to reach out to their representatives and demand action in the next two months. If we fail, we’ll have to start all over again next year and that is not an option.”

The Filipino Veterans’ 72-year fight for equity and justice has been NaFFAA’s major advocacy initiative since its founding in 1997.

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