On Friday, December 6, 2013, Congressman Al Green hosted a town hall meeting on his recent Congressional delegation trip to survey the areas damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Congressman Al Green was in the Philippines from November 23 to 26, 2013, along with Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Trent Franks (AZ-08). Congressman Al Green was joined by individuals and leaders from the Filipino community, as well as other interested parties for the meeting, at the International Trade Center on 11110 Bellaire Blvd.
Congressman Al Green, with the aid of a slide-show of pictures he took while in the Philippines, discussed conversations he had with locals and local leaders in the Philippines, the magnitude of the damage he witnessed first-hand, as well as the aid efforts by the U.S. military and aid organizations. As one of the countries hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippines has suffered the loss of more than 5,000 people, and 11.2 million people have been affected.
“I saw first-hand the extent of this human tragedy on the Filipino people. While it was saddening to see so much damage and destruction, it was heartening to meet so many Filipinos hopeful in the face of adversity and optimistic about the future,” Congressman Al Green said. “I also met many brave American troops and saw them in action, helping our long-standing ally recover from this tragedy.”
Congressman Al Green also detailed his recent legislative effort, H.R. 3602, which would grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Filipino nationals in the U.S. for a period of up to 18 months after its enactment. The Filipino nationals would have to demonstrate that they have been continuously present in the U.S. since November 8, 2013. More than $10 billion in remittances to the Philippines come from Filipinos living abroad, totaling 10 percent of the gross domestic product of the Filipino economy. This is especially important as more than 40 percent of the population of the Philippines live on less than two dollars a day.
“During this difficult time, it is important that we as a nation renew our solidarity with the Filipino people, who are our long-standing allies. The people of the Philippines have suffered greatly,” Congressman Al Green said. “Allowing Filipino nationals, continuously present in the U.S. since November 8, 2013, to stay in our nation and continue to earn money to send back to their homeland is some of the best assistance our nation can offer.”
SENIOR PRESS SECRETARY | CONGRESSMAN AL GREEN (TX-09)