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Development secretary praises Harlow Filipino community

Politics / Fri 29th Nov 2013 am30 08:24am

justineFOLLOWING a question by Harlow MP Robert Halfon in support of the Harlow Filipino community during a statement in the House of Commons on Thursday, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has expressed her condolences to the family of Jeffrey and Jairo Ben Ducusin who died when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines two weeks ago.

Jeffrey and his wife, Mary Joy Ducusin, worked as nurses at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, and moved back to the Philippines only two months ago.

The Harlow Filipino community organised an event at the hospital’s social club on Thursday, November 21, to raise money to help the typhoon victims and remember Jeffrey and Jairo.

Mr Halfon mentioned this initiative in his intervention in the House of Commons today when he urged the Secretary of State to praise the community and visit Harlow to meet them.

Mr Halfon’s question – Robert Halfon (Harlow) (Con): I thank my right hon. Friend for her statement. I am proud of the contribution we are making both as a Government and as a people to the Philippines.

Will my right hon. Friend pay tribute to the Harlow Filipino community, who held a special fundraiser last Thursday night following the tragic death of the Harlow Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse Jeffrey Ducusin and his son Jairo? Will she express condolences to the family and visit the Filipino community in Harlow sometime in the future to give them support at this difficult time?

Ms Greening’s reply – Justine Greening: I express my deep condolences to the family and to all those people who have lost loved ones in the crisis.

I would be happy to meet the Filipino community and I had the chance to meet some of them a couple of Fridays ago when we had a special mass at Westminster Cathedral.

I have been in close contact with the Philippine ambassador to London since the crisis hit and I saw him this weekend in the Philippines.

I would be happy to meet my hon. Friend’s local community.

Speaking later, Mr Halfon said “I was honoured to attend the event at the social club. We have a truly wonderful Filipino community in Harlow. I hope the Secretary of State will visit soon and that her words in the House of Commons today will give some comfort to the community at this terrible time.”

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