WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy is intensifying its engagement with the United States House of Representatives as part of Manila’s efforts to raise the country’s profile among American legislators.
Since the opening of the 113th Congress in January, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. has been meeting with key lawmakers, especially members of the US-Philippines Friendship Caucus, who could support and advance Philippine interests in the US legislature.
Last week alone, Ambassador Cuisia met with Congressmen Rohrabacher, Adam Schiff (D-California), Peter King (R-New York), Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), and Rick Larsen (D-Washington) and Delegate Gregorio Sablan (D-CNMI) to update them on developments in Philippine-US relations.
Ambassador Cuisia also had earlier meetings with Rep. Vernon Buchanan (R-Florida), who was recently in Manila as part of the Congressional Delegation led by Rep. Ed Royce (R-California), Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Washington), Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pennsylvania) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
Ambassador Cuisia took the opportunity to update the said legislators on issues related to the Save our Industries Act, Filipino veterans; the West Philippine Sea; defense cooperation and the outstanding performance of the Philippine economy.
“We look forward to a greater engagement with an expanded US-Philippines Friendship Caucus in the House of Representatives,” Ambassador Cuisia said.
The US-Philippines Friendship Caucus is made up of US congressmen who have a strong interest in the Philippines and who promote the Philippine-US alliance. The Caucus also has a special focus on the concerns of the more than 4 million-strong Filipino community in the United States.
The Caucus was initiated in 2003 by Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-California), Bob Filner (D-California), Duke Cunningham (R-California), Bobby Scott (D-Virginia), Todd Tiahrt (R-California), Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) and Lane Evans (D-Illinois). This was during the term of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario as ambassador to Washington. ###