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HEADLINERS
 
Updated 2010 March 1
Filipino american politics Bert Almeda with Prospero Pichay
Mr. Bert A. Almeda (Left) with Philippine Rep. Prospero Pichay (then in 2006) during a tour of Philfest grounds, Tampa Bay, Florida in April 2006. Mr. Pichay is the Chairman of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), having been appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to head the government organization.
 

ALMEDA'S LEADERSHIP PUTS FIL-AM COMMUNITIES ON POLITICAL RADAR


It is no small feat when one has been tapped as Honorary Deputy Sheriff, or even more so as Honorary Assistant State Attorney. For Bert A. Almeda, it was trust and recognition from echelons of government that earned him respect and those appointments.

Bert A. Almeda is the President of The Pilipino-American Political Aggregation, Inc. (PAPAG), one of the first to move the Filipino-American community into Florida's political landscape -- to be acknowledged, to be respected. Mr. Almeda's unselfish contributions, volunteerism, service, political education and initiatives for his community earned him their respect and acknowledgment as a political leader. It is no surprise though that the man who is on a first-name basis with senators, governors, ambassadors, and other political figures puts the welfare of his community and constituents above all.

Bert Almeda and Ambassador Gaa Tampa Bay Philfest
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa (right) was hosted by PAPAG President Bert A. Almeda in Tampa Bay, Florida for the Dual citizens swearing ceremonies.
The Pilipino-American Political Aggregation, Inc. (PAPAG),the political arm of the Filipino-American community, has two main purposes.

Firstly,  that is to help candidates to public office, from the U.S. President down to judges, by campaigning and raising campaign donations for them. 

Secondly to lobby for laws and programs benefiting the people, including Filipino-Americans.

As a result of these efforts, PAPAG has earned the recognition of political leaders in Hillsborough County and Florida, and Bert A. Almeda, PAPAG President, has been accorded the following honors: appointed Honorary Assistant State Attorney by Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober; appointed Honorary Deputy Sheriff by Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee; and awarded and named Filipino Ambassador to the Hillsborough County Public Defender's Office by Public Defender Julie Holt. Not limiting its time and efforts to political activities,

PAPAG has extended its help and support to community-oriented endeavors, such as jointly hosting with the PCFI the Consulate-on-Wheels and Dual Citizenship Program of the Philippine Embassy during the Philippine Festivals (PhiIFest) at the Bayanihan Center in Tampa, Florida.

Among other things, PAPAG has successfully lobbied then Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature to give full funding to the cultural facilities grant projects of the Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc. (PCFI) ($500,000 for Phase I, $150,000 for Phase II and $200,000 for Phase III), built the $25,000 PAPAG Pavilion in the Philippine Village (PhilFest grounds), requested Hillsborough County Chairman Jim Norman, through Ben Kelly, to install “Bayanihan Center” directional signs on strategic public roads and streets, to expedite the permits for the different PCFI buildings and projects, and other service to benefit PhilFest.

With the initiatives of PAPAG and its leadership, the path had been paved for Filipino-American communities to add a big stick to its political voice. (www.pulitika.org)


 


 

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