President Benigno Aquino III visited Chicago on a working visit on May 6-7, his first visit to the Us Midwest since assuming office in 2010. He was joined by key members of his cabinet, Trade and Industry Secretary Greg Domingo, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Philippine Ambassador to US Jose Cuisia, Jr. Nine delegates from the Philippine Nurses Association of Wisconsin led by Gem Cubos, president and eleven delegates from the Philippine Nurses Association of Illinois led by Alma Jaromahum, president were on hand as they joined the Filipino community to deliver a rousing welcome to His Excellency during a special meeting at J. W. Marriott Hotel, Chicago Illinois on May 6. The two chapters of the PNAA North Central Region are accredited organizations of the Consulate General of the Philippines in Chicago and enjoyed this memorable privilege. Folk singer Noel Cabangon warmed up the crowd with a rendition of Mabuting Pilipino during the event. Aquino had also met earlier that day with Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel and attended a business meeting at the TransUnion headquarters organized by U.S. ASEAN Council and U. S. Chamber of Commerce. The president got his wish as he sampled the famed Chicago deep dish pizza.
President Aquino despite battling jet lag, delivered a 40 minute speech in Philipino, in which he announced the achievements of his administration, particularly in improving the economy and in fighting corruption. “Good governance equals good economics, equals good quality inclusive growth” he stated. “ Wala pong ibang paraan para matupad ito kundi sa pagtutulungan ng lahat ng Pilipino, saanmang bahagi ng mundo”he said. He urged the people not to be content with what has been achieved so far and not to just watch things unfold or ignore them, because the fate of the Philippines is in the hands of Filipinos. He mentioned a notable increase in foreign investments since he assumed office from 1.07 billion dollars in 2010 to 6.2 billion dollars in 2014, a 479.28 percent increase. He informed those present that the Philippines is now the “Darling of Asia” for having investment grade status.
The president thanked Fil-Ams for the overwhelming number of absentee votes from the U.S. which put him in power. He asked everyone to help share the positive developments of his administration via social media adding that mainstream media only present negative reports. He also urged the Filipino community to support the administration’s candidate to ensure the continuity of our country’s gains. After leaving the U.S. Aquino flew to Canada for a three day visit.