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Press Release 95-2015

(10 December 2015, Honolulu, Hawaii) On December 3 and 4, 2015 , the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu hosted Philippine Ambassador to the United States, and the Philippine Consuls General in the United States for the annual year-end Planning Conference of Philippine US Heads of Posts.

Philippine Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin welcomed Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. and Consul General Emil Fernandez (Washington D.C.) , Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr. (New York) and Mrs. Eleanor De Leon , Consul General Generoso Calonge (Chicago), Mrs. Gloria Calonge and Consul Ricarte Abejuela III , Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim and Mrs. Fides Herrera-Lim , Consul General Marciano de Borja (Agana), Consul General Henry Bensurto (San Francisco) and Honorary Consul Henry Howard (Miami).

The two-day Planning Conference is a continuation of the mid-year Planning Conference held in Manila in July this year. The US Heads of Posts presented their respective work plans for 2016 in line with the four (4) pillars of Philippine foreign policy which are the 1) preservation and enhancement of national security; 2) economic diplomacy; 3) protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of overseas Filipinos; and 4) cultural diplomacy . Ambassador Cuisia, in his opening speech, underscored that 2016 is a defining year for both the Philippines and the United States which will both have their presidential elections next year.

He also acknowledged the Philippines’ successful 2015 hosting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the APEC Leaders Summit in November. The US Heads of Posts presented their accomplishments for the current year and shared best practices in the Posts to further enhance delivery of frontline services and public diplomacy.

The US Heads of Posts acknowledged the cooperation and support of the Filipino diaspora in the United States for the Philippine Consulates’ various projects and programs geared to promote Philippine culture and language and to promote unity among the Filipino communities. They also acknowledged the guidance and support of the Philippine Foreign Service under the leadership of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto del Rosario Jr.

The Philippine Consulate in Honolulu also hosted an aloha reception for the delegation and the book launching of Consul General Marc de Borja’s book, “ State Department Boys” at the Philippine Consulate in the afternoon of December 3 attended by Hawaii State Legislature and Honolulu City Council members; US State Department officials; Hawaii’s consular corps and Filipino community leaders. Among the guests were Hawaii Senate Vice-President Will Espero; Hawaii House of Representatives Vice-Speaker John Mizuno and Mrs. May Mizuno, President of the Congress of Visayan Organizations (COVO); Senators Donna Mercado-Kim and Brickwood Galuteria; Representatives Romy Cachola and Ty Cullen, Honolulu Council Member Joey Manahan and Rear Admiral Vincent Atkins, Commander of the US Coast Guard District 14. (END).

First Day of the Planning Conference of the US Heads of Posts at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, 3 December 2015 . From Left to Right: Honorary Consul Henry Howard (Miami, Florida ); Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim (Los Angeles ); Consul General Emil Fernandez (Washington DC); Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. (New York); Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr., Philippine Ambassador to US; Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin ( Honolulu); Consul General Generoso Calonge (Chicago) and Consul General Marciano de Borja (Agana)