MANILA, Philippines—A young Filipino-American (Fil-Am) who works in the White House wants to push for the creation of a Fil-Am advocacy group in the US and to organize Fil-Ams in helping victims of typhoons in the Philippines.
Jason Tengco, a Senior Adviser in the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the youngest among the 10 delegates of the Filipino-American Youth Leadership program, is in the country for a five-day immersion program from July 24 to 28.
“I intend on making it a priority to work with the Embassy to organize Filipino-Americans around typhoon relief, so that even as time passes, we continue to provide support and never forget those affected by the typhoon,” Tengco said in a statement released Thursday by the Philippine Embassy in the United States (US).
“I would also like to work with the Embassy in organizing the community around comprehensive immigration reform in order to help it along the finish line in Congress, and to enroll undocumented Filipino youth in Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. Finally, I plan to continue to lay the groundwork in order to launch a national progressive Filipino-American advocacy organization in D.C.,” he said.
Tengco was also the cofounder of JeepneyHub.com, a website dedicated to the career development of Filipino American youth and young professionals.
The ten young Fil-Ams who have made strides in their respective fields in the US are in the Philippines for a five-day immersion program that would help them reconnect with their roots and to give them a chance to embark on advocacies that would help the country’s progress.
“We have a truly promising group of individuals who have already made a difference in their respective communities. This is an exciting time for them and a wonderful opportunity to get to know more about their heritage and roots,” Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. said in the statement.
“We need more people in the US doing work for the Philippines. I hope this trip inspires the young leaders to pursue projects and lines of work that promote the Philippines and its people,” Cuisia said.
The 10 delegates participating in the third Filipino-American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro) are:
1. Edward Aparis from Chula Vista, California
2. Rynn Chua from Gardena, California
3. Rommel Clemente from Milpitas, California
4. Adette Contreras from Brooklyn, New York
5. Michael Dahilig from Lihue, Hawaii
6. Rafael Diokno from Washington, D.C.
7. Abbey Eusebio from Lincolnwood, Illinois
8. Jan Paul Ferrer from Tinley Park, Illinois
9. Ryan Letada from New York, New York; and
10. Jason Tengco from Washington, D.C.
The delegates will meet with senior government officials, corporate executives and successful entrepreneurs, members of the academe and representatives of leading nongovernment organizations.
Diokno, Vice President of the Filipino Young Professionals-D.C. and a Board Member of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce-D.C. said he wants to share his vision of what the Filipino American community could be.
“It is a vision that focuses on education, connection, and developing the financial clout, as a community, to fund key programs and initiatives to make this vision possible,” Diokno, who is also a member of the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition, said.
Consul General Emilio Fernandez, who serves as program coordinator, said FYLPro alumni continue to embark on different advocacies to help promote further progress in the Philippines and to further engage the multi-faceted Filipino-American community.
“The batches have gone to undertake, among other things, political advocacy initiatives, cultural and tourism promotion programs, social entrepreneurship activities, education innovations, Filipino-American heritage projects, voter awareness and education, and have even launched political campaigns of their own,” he said.