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PIA Press Release

PGMA cites outstanding Filipinos in Northeast United States

NEW YORK (via PLDT) (27 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo conferred on Wednesday evening (Sept. 26, New York time) presidential awards on members of the Filipino-American community in northeast United States who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of endeavor.

Conferred the Order of Lakandula Award, rank of Grand Officer, was Philippine Consul General Cecilia B. Rebong of the Philippine Consulate in New York. The presidential awardee was the Chief Presidential Protocol Officer in 2002-2004 before her posting here.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Waldorf Astoria Towers during the President's reunion with the core leaders of the Filipino communities in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Bestowed the Presidential Medal of Merit Award was noted Filipino playwright Alberto Florentino. Florentino, whose first work as a playwright won the Palanca Award in 1954, is also credited with helping six major Filipino writers join the ranks of National Artists for Literature.

The President also presented a certificate of recognition to the members of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) task force for the National Council Licensure Examination (NLEX) for its "initiative and efforts in campaigning at the US National Council for State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) for the Philippines to be declared an international testing site for Filipino Aspirants to the nursing profession in the United States."

The PNAA was also cited for "undauntingly carrying on the cause, in spite of the long wait and the disappointments, never giving up hope but instead soliciting partners and supporters, traveling regularly to the Philippines and back, campaigning vigorously for success."

On the other hand, Filipino veterans of World War II living in the United States, handed the President a letter of appreciation for her "constant support for their quest for US recognition."

The Filipino WWII veterans, who were stripped of their benefits in 1946, have finally triumphed over adversity after the veterans committee of both Houses of the US Congress passed the Veterans Equity Bill.

"The Filipino veterans are closer than they have ever been to having their rights and privileges restored," through the support of the President who had personally brought their problem with US President George W. Bush. (OPS/PIA) [top]

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