by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News
LOS ANGELES — The new administration of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations is already hitting the ground running, with plans of taking a thorough, non-partisan approach on certain issues.
It’s been an eventful first week under President Donald Trump’s administration — especially in issues affecting Filipinos, from immigration to travel and small business.
As orders take effect, the new diverse and young leadership at the NaFFAA are working behind the scenes to identify issues, and make their voices heard.
“We are non partisan — we represent both parties,” said Brendan Flores, NaFFAA’s National Chair. “But my administration will engage with the Trump administration, and we have been very, very thoughtful in making sure that we have a voice and a seat at the table — by making sure we have representations.”
“We’ve been very vocal on some things we believe in. We’re partnering with national organization, and supporting some of our Filipino Americans [who] are very much concerned with what’s happening.”
One of the biggest issues NaFFAA is looking to take on is immigration.
“A lot of individuals are worried about immigration executive orders in particular although travel bans don’t directly impact Filipinos but what if we are targeted next,” said Jason Tengco, NaFFAA Executive Director. “We’re trying to work with a lot of legal advocates and experts to help spread awareness about what their resources are. I think that’s the biggest thing that NaFFAA can really help provide.”
Flores and Tengco have been traveling throughout the country in recent weeks, meeting with local Fil-Am community groups.
On this stop in Los Angeles, they met with Chamber of Commerce groups as President Trump signed his latest order that would cut small business regulations.
Business leaders plan on discussing the issue when they hold a summit this week.
“Multiple duplicates or related regulations — there’s room for decluttering. In a way that’s a good thing, at the same time too, that might prevent new ones…because of this added hurdle,” said Fred Docdocil, President of the FilAm Chamber South Bay.
We owe them unabashed, true, honest to goodness, bottom line information…and it will not be tainted by political position,” said Noel Omega, NaFFAA Regional Chair and FilAm Chamber of LA.
For now, when it comes to business, FilAm Chamber leaders say that no matter who’s on top or what laws are eventually crafted — they’ll just have to be optimistic and run businesses as usual.