President Rodrigo Duterte’s compassion to the OFW sector is evident in his actions that’s why OFWs around the globe love him.
From the creation of OFW one-stop-shop to dissolution of tanim-bala and bukas-balikbayan box, he even told the OFWs to slap anyone who may attempt to extort money from them at the NAIA.
President Duterte will be visiting bigolive apk the Bahrain,Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and here are the reasons why:
1. To express gratitude to the overseas Filipinos for their support.
During the last presidential election, the OFWs and their families supported the then Davao Mayor Duterte with the largest OAV turnout in the last 10 years. In UAE alone, Duterte got 51,879 or 83.5 % of the total 62,103 actual votes cast. Duterte got 58% of the total votes in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and 64% total votes in Riyadh.
According to the data released by Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, Duterte got the most number of votes with 313,346 total votes from OFWs abroad.
2.Listen to OFW concerns.
“The trip is not something for other reasons. We are coming here to address specific problems. He could not himself fully understand why Filipinos would much rather want to remain here. He would like to make sure that he fully understands this,” DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said.
“He will not only go to Saudi or UAE and go back home. No, he will stay here for a few days, talk to the leaders and see what kinds of agreement can be signed,” he added.
The OFWS are close to the heart of the President because he understand them, like a father knows and understand his children.
3. For bilateral agreements that will benefit the OFWs.
According to Sec. Yasay,senior Philippine officials “are now engaging our counterparts in these countries for the purpose of entering into agreements to strengthen our bilateral agreements” prior to President Duterte’s trip.
4. To formulate policies for the benefit of our modern day heroes–the OFWs.
Among President Duterte’s flagship programs for OFWs are the creation of a separate department for OFWs, the creation of an OFW bank and the abolition of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).
The Middle East-specific policies will be implemented based on the president’s assessment on his visit to the region.
5. To sustain Philippines’ economic growth by forging trade ties with the Middle east counterparts and generate jobs back home.
“It is the hope of President Duterte that before his six year term is over, those who apply for jobs abroad will simply be doing so on the basis of choice rather than forced to do so,” Yasay said.
6. To address the largest OFW community in Saudi Arabia.
Currently, there are 872,000 OFWs in Saudi and half of this population is in Riyadh. The other half is spread across the eastern and western regions.
7. Biggest OFW remittances next to USA is coming from Saudi, Arabia.
Without a doubt, OFW remittances make the Philippine economy afloat. The OFWs send remittances to their family back home which their family are spending in malls, restaurants, and others which keeps the economy alive.
8. Saudi Arabia is the biggest potential trade partner from Arab region.
In terms of trade, Saudi Arabia was among the top 10 partners of the Philippines in 2012.
One of the key agendas on Duterte’s visit is to initiate talks with Saudi for bilateral collaborations in a number of sectors like agriculture, travel and tourism, culture, labour, trade and investment.
9.The largest number of OFWs in distress are in the Middle East particularly in Saudi Arabia.
Thousands of distressed OFW are in Saudi Arabia, some of them are already been repatriated through the effort of the Duterte Administration and has been given assistance by OWWA and DOLE and through the programs of other government agencies like TESDA.
10. To make a state visit in the Middle East that has not been done since 2009.
The last visit made by a Philippine President to Saudi Arabia was during former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s visit in 2009. The president who succeeded her never visited the Middle East in his entire term.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit the Middle East on February to talk and listen to the OFWs personally and to give hope to them that he will fix the country, generate more jobs and business opportunities, and make it peaceful for them to come home for good.