Consul General Theresa Dizon-de Vega (Center) with the members of the FILCA and lay supporter Ms. Emilia Cruz.  (Photo by NYPCG)

Consul General Theresa Dizon-de Vega met with over 20 members of the Filipino Clergy in America (FILCA) at the Parish House of St. Henry’s Church in Bayonne, N.J. on Dec. 13, 2016.

FILCA is composed of Filipino and Filipino-American priests in New York and New Jersey and other areas in the Northeast USA.

During the luncheon-meeting which coincided with the organization’s annual year-end fellowship, de Vega spoke about the Consulate General’s efforts to reach out to various organizations to establish more channels to engage Filipino Community members.

Recognizing the need to keep the Filipino Community informed of possible new policy initiatives under the incoming Trump Administration, as well as the services offered by the Consulate, the consul general cited the important role played by church and faith-based communities in reaching Filipinos in the Northeast.

She informed the FILCA about the “Know Your Rights” program of the Consulate and invited them to be partners in this effort by accommodating information dissemination events organized by the Consulate in their Filipino Community gatherings. 

De Vega noted that the Consulate held similar outreach seminars in some parishes and church-based Migrant Centers in New York.

In a productive discussion, FILCA members offered their support for the Consulate’s initiatives and also shared information on cases and concerns of some of their Filipino parishioners. 

The meeting likewise had an exchange of views about the current policy initiatives of the Duterte Administration.

The FILCA noted that eliminating the taxes on Balikbayan boxes for qualified overseas Filipinos is a welcome development for the migrant community. 

They also look forward to further movement on the proposed OFW Bank.

The Consulate will hold its first information dissemination drive at St. Henry’s Church on Dec. 15, 2016.

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