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10/06/2014: FILIPINO DIASPORA TOWN HALL MEETING: A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT INVESTMENTS

According to the 2012 Census, ethnic Filipinos comprise one of the largest immigrant populations in the US, and that number may still be growing.  This is evident in the rising number of Filipino Americans being elected into office, the proclamation of Filipino American History Month in several states, and most recently, the certification of the Filipino language as one of the official languages in San Francisco.  Due to the burgeoning size and influence of the Filipino diaspora in the US, it was identified as one of five ethnic groups to be covered by the study being conducted by the Rockefeller-Aspen Diaspora Project (RAD).

 

The RAD Project is a program designed in partnership by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Aspen Institute geared towards exploring the interests of diaspora groups in investing and contributing to the social development in their country of origin.  The goal of the Project is to channel impact investments from the Filipino diaspora into the Philippines.

Left photo: Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon delivers his remarks before the assembled guests; right photo: Mr. Alex Dixon discusses the RAD Program.

In a town hall meeting with Filipino American entrepreneurs, organizations and key individuals held on 19 May 2014 at the Philippine Consulate General’s Social Hall, the team from the RAD Program led by its Director, Mr. Alex Dixon, discussed the ways in which they can assist in the social development of the Philippines.  During the interactive meeting, a brief survey was conducted by the RAD officials, which explored the profile of Filipinos in the US, as well as the community’s interests and concerns in their goal to assist kababayans back home.  Meanwhile, the open forum that ensued touched on the challenges that potential investors would face, such as restrictions and limitations in the financial industry both in the United States and in the Philippines.

As a way to present the profile of a typical immigrant Filipino family, journalist Emil Guillermo shared his own family’s experiences: the challenges in finding a job to support one’s self, their relatives in the US and even those who were left in the Philippines.  He also highlighted the tragedy that they recently went through due to the untimely demise of his cousin, and its impact on their lives.

The RAD Filipino Diaspora Town Hall Event proved to be an eye opener for some, and a reaffirmation of the thoughts and ideas of others as they strive towards being of service to Filipinos in the Philippines, especially after the tragedies that hit the country the previous year.  In his remarks, Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon reiterated the significance of impact investments and called on the Filipino community to revive their spirit of bayanihan (teamwork), pagkakaisa (unity) and pakikisama (solidarity).

In a town hall meeting with Filipino American entrepreneurs, organizations and key individuals held on 19 May 2014 at the Philippine Consulate General’s Social Hall, the team from the RAD Program led by its Director, Mr. Alex Dixon, discussed the ways in which they can assist in the social development of the Philippines.  During the interactive meeting, a brief survey was conducted by the RAD officials, which explored the profile of Filipinos in the US, as well as the community’s interests and concerns in their goal to assist kababayans back home.  Meanwhile, the open forum that ensued touched on the challenges that potential investors would face, such as restrictions and limitations in the financial industry both in the United States and in the Philippines.

As a way to present the profile of a typical immigrant Filipino family, journalist Emil Guillermo shared his own family’s experiences: the challenges in finding a job to support one’s self, their relatives in the US and even those who were left in the Philippines.  He also highlighted the tragedy that they recently went through due to the untimely demise of his cousin, and its impact on their lives.

The RAD Filipino Diaspora Town Hall Event proved to be an eye opener for some, and a reaffirmation of the thoughts and ideas of others as they strive towards being of service to Filipinos in the Philippines, especially after the tragedies that hit the country the previous year.  In his remarks, Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon reiterated the significance of impact investments and called on the Filipino community to revive their spirit of bayanihan (teamwork), pagkakaisa (unity) and pakikisama (solidarity).

As one of the groups in focus of the RAD Program, Filipino Americans are encouraged to take a quick survey to better assist the program in identifying the key interests of the diaspora.  To participate, please click on the link: http://rad-aspen-institute.polldaddy.com/s/rockefeller-aspen-diaspora-program.  For more information on the Rockefeller-Aspen Diaspora Program, please visit their website, www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/RAD