For the first time in Arizona history, Philippine government official Jose Manuel Romualdez spoke before state legislators — highlighting professional contributions of Fil-Ams in the Grand Canyon state, and the close ties shared between the Philippines and the U.S.
“My country links to Arizona date back to the early years of the Filipino migration to the state to fill in the need for professional practitioners in the medical field. Throughout the years, the number of Filipinos have increased later with migrants coming to work in more varied professions and industries.”
“Our relationships best asset is our people-to-people ties.”
After the Philippine ambassador’s speech at the state capitol, he was privately received by Arizona speaker of the house Russell Bowers and the Senate president Karen Fann.
The visit was made possible by district 21 representative Tony Rivero who initiated the project — ambassadors series program for 2019 to 2020 which invites ambassadors from around the globe.
“This was great, I think this was the first time that a visiting ambassador spoke to Arizona House of Representatives. I think it’s just a shame that he was not able to meet with our governor because you know next to our president, he should be the highest official here in the United States for the Philippine government.”
As part of the tour, the ambassador met with students in Peoria High School and Arizona State University, and also with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.
During a Filipino townhall meeting, he stressed that Fil-Ams in Arizona should participate in programs and services administered by the embassy and the consulate.