Duterte – iNews.com.ph
OFWs thank Duterte for looking after their welfare

A group, represented by a former overseas Filipino worker (OFW), expressed its gratitude to President Rodrigo R. Duterte for looking after the welfare and safety of overseas workers.

“The program and the event happened dahil sa malaking pasasalamat namin kay presidente (because of our gratitude to the president). Ang feeling kasi ng mga OFW is, the president is our hope, the hope of the OFWs so ngayon ang lakas ng loob na lumalabas ang mga OFW using each other’s voice (The OFWs feel that the president is our hope, that’s why we come out to support each other),” said Gemma Sotto, head of Global Police Community Relations International and organizer of “Araw ng Pasasalamat sa mga OFW”, in an interview.

Duterte attended the event “Araw ng Pasasalamat sa mga OFW” held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines stadium in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City last Friday.

Sotto said the event was held to show their fellow OFWs that the government and their fellow OFWs support them.

“This event is for the OFW to know that their fellow OFWs remember them na nandito kaming kapwa OFW, na mahal namin sila (we are here for our fellow OFWs). Just expressing na nagpapasalamat kami sa kanila (This is our way of thanking them),” Sotto said.

Sotto also expressed desire to hold the event every year as their way of acknowledging the efforts of current and former overseas Filipino workers.

“Hopefully po (to hold the event annually). Actually po this is the first time, as we go through the program, sana marami ang mag-join and encourage to do this kind of event para sa mga OFWs kasi marami ang umuwi just for this event, ‘yung mga leaders po namin. Kasi ako, an OFW for 21 years, alam ko how they miss our country, how they miss the Philippines (We hope to hold the event annually. Many of our OFWs went home just for this event. I am a former OFW myself and I know how they miss our country),” she said.

“Dahil po sa pamamaraan ni presidente, ang kauna-unahang presidente (President Duterte is the first president) to let us feel that we are being loved, we are being remembered,” Sotto added.

The event showcased a job fair for OFWs and former OFWs who would like to apply for jobs here and abroad.

Some 4,000 OFWs were invited to the event which offered livelihood programs and scholarships to qualified participants and their kin. A house and lot, several motorcycles, appliances and sacks of rice were also raffled to participants.

A one-stop shop that offered services of various government offices such as the Philippine National Police, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority was also set up.

Duterte announced during the event last Friday the creation this year of the Department of OFW, which would handle matters concerning Filipino workers abroad.

Aside from the new department, Duterte said he would build hospitals specifically for Filipino migrant workers. (Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)

Top photo: SALAMAT, OFWs. President Rodrigo R. Duterte takes a bow before Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) during the “Araw ng Pasasalamat” for the OFWs at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on July 12, 2019. During the event, Duterte said he wanted a separate department, which would control and supervise the recruitment process for OFWs. (Rey Baniquet/Presidential Photo)

Duterte urges Filipinos to embody Christ’s compassion

President Rodrigo Duterte has encouraged Catholic Filipinos to embrace Christ’s compassion in spite of differences.

In observance of the Holy Week, the President delivered a message stressing that the Season of Lent is the time to renew relationship with God.

“This is a time to revitalize and renew our relationship with God and our fellowmen,” Duterte said.

“As we put our hands together in prayer, may we use this as an opportune time to rekindle our religious fervor and cherish our time-honored traditions as a pious people,” he added.

Duterte also urged Filipinos to use this Lenten week to reflect on the Catholic values.

“As we reflect on the Catholic values and embody selflessness, compassion and love instilled in us through the years, let us remember to always help and uplift the downtrodden because it is only through charitable actions that we make God’s presence visible among us,” he said.

Again, the President called for unity among Filipinos to realize better life for everyone.

“Let us take a moment to pause in the spirit of contemplation and work and unite as one people to build a truly equitable and inclusive nation where everyone can enjoy a decent a comfortable life,” Duterte said.

“I wish out countrymen a deeply meaningful and solemn observance of the Holy Week,” he added.

Duterte invites India to invest in PH telco industry

President Rodrigo Duterte invited India to invest in the country’s telco sector as part of the current administration’s vision to deliver better internet connectivity for Filipinos.

Duterte said he invited India during his visit at New Delhi in January.

“India is also interested to enter into the telecom industry and we are considering,” Duterte said.

“I invited them during my talks with the businessmen of India during my official visit,” he added.

The President said that frequencies for a third telco player are already made available by the government.

“I have opened up the third frequency for telecommunication, telecoms. If you are the representative there, you can always go to them and discuss business,” he said.

Subsequently, Duterte said Indian nationals must shun any corruption attempt by Philippine government officials.

They are also urged to report corruption cases against public officials so his office can make appropriate action.

“If you are asked to shell out money or there is a transaction which involves corruption for a favor or for a permit then let me know,” Duterte said.

“Unless you are ready to give it then just shut up because it’s yours. But you are not supposed to spend for anything unless it’s part of the official fees and the collections of government, regulatory fees most of it,” he said.

Duterte vows to provide better life for Filipinos

President Rodrigo Duterte is optimistic the quality of life of Filipinos will improve in the middle of his term.

He said the government is fulfilling his campaigns including eliminating graft and corruption, crime and illegal drugs; ensuring that Filipinos are safe from threats; and improving the local economy.

“Konting tiis lang. I’m on my second year. Maybe towards the end of the third year and the early part of the fourth year medyo angat na tayo,” he said on February 22.

The President also noted the economy’s continuous growth as well as the creation of more jobs given his administration’s massive “Build, Build, Build” initiative.

Duterte also urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to return to the Philippines to contribute to its development.

“Hindi na kayo kailangang pumunta sa labas. Huwag kayong pumunta sa labas kasi I cannot protect you. Magtiis-tiis na lang tayo dito,” he said, referring to those Filipinos who plan to work abroad as domestic workers.

Just recently, the President mandated to stop the deployment of workers in Kuwait following reports of abuses, particularly the news that a Pinay worker, Joanna Demafelis, was found dead inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment.

Duterte visited the wake of Demafelis to express his condolences and assure the family of the victim that the government would continue to find justice for the brutal death of the domestic worker.

“I’d tell you now, until and unless mahuli ‘yung dalawa and they are really behind bars, the deployment of OFW to [Kuwait] will remain. Ban po talaga,” he said.