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PIA Press Release
Friday, November 12, 2010


LGEs participate in exchange program in America

Manila (November 11) -- The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. reported that nine local government officials from the Philippines travelled to the United States to participate in the exchange program organized by the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL).

The group of young political leaders was composed of Councilor Kirk Asis (Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur); Councilor Maria Lina Baura (Tagum City, Davao del Norte); Vice Mayor Conrad Cejoco (Bislig City, Surigao del Sur); Board Member Abeleon Damalerio, (Bohol); Board Member Aristotle Gaza (Bataan); Councilor Joseph Juico (Quezon City); Vice Governor Jose Antonio Leviste (Batangas); Councilor Cheryl Sembrano (Villasis, Pangasinan); and, Mayor Karen Villanueva (Bais City, Negros Oriental).

The delegates met with government, corporate, and community leaders in Washington D.C., Kansas, and Washington from October 30 to November 9.

They met with Embassy officers on November 3 and discussed key issues in the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States covering political and security, economic and trade, and the Filipino-American community.

"Local government officials are directly in touch with the challenges faced by Filipinos. We value their experiences and insights as we advance greater partnership between the Philippines and the United States and make this partnership more meaningful to our kababayan back home," Minister for Political Affairs Maria Andrelita Austria emphasized.

The delegates expressed keen interest on issues that will further shape the Philippines' relations with the United States, such as the pending Save Our Industries (SAVE) Act, which aims to revitalize the fabric and garments trade between the Philippines and the United States, as well as the results of the recent mid-term elections in the United States.

Supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the ACYPL exchange program exposes young political leaders to the policy and decision making process and political and electoral dynamics in different countries with the end in view of strengthening leadership and public diplomacy skills and fostering mutual understanding.

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