ISA TOWN, Bahrain — President Rodrigo Duterte promised overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Bahrain that his six-year administration would be free from corruption, oppression and abusive officials.
Facing an ecstatic crowd of around 4,000 at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium here, Duterte said he wants to solve the problem of corruption in the country to encourage OFWs to return home.
“Ang OFW kasi alam ko gusto ninyong mahinto na talaga ‘yung corruption para aangat ang bayan natin. And maybe the next generation can really come home,” Duterte said.
He said OFWs can also help in reforming the country by being assertive and by shunning all acts of corruption particularly in the Immigration and Customs bureaus.
The President, meanwhile, announced that he would be setting up a separate department for OFWs soon.
“In a few months you will have a Department of Overseas Filipino Workers,” he said adding that workers will eventually reduce the processing time of their papers from six weeks to three weeks.
“You can use the online at kayo doon kung gusto maghanap ng trabaho, you just direct kung ano at ilista na ninyo diyan at mamili kayo, then you apply online,” he said.
He stressed that creating an OFW department would also help in stamping out “fly by night” recruitment agencies.
Duterte expressed his gratitude to the progressive Kingdom of Bahrain for welcoming Filipino workers into their country.
“Bahrain has been good to you. I have talked to all officials including His Majesty the King, and they only have nice words for you. Sabi nila wala silang reklamo sa inyo, mababait kayo, matiyaga, at wala silang masabi,” he said.
“Kaya sabi ko, nandito kami and I gave to the government and to the King my promise and commitment that we will stand by and protect the State of Bahrain,” he added.
The President received a very warm reception from the members of the royal family during his three-day state visit here especially from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Duterte also had an opportunity to meet His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. The Prime Minister of Bahrain led the send-off party for the visiting head of state.
Duterte proceeded to Qatar for the final leg of his three-country swing in the Middle East. ###PND