President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, October 18, reiterated his pledge to improve the Philippine economy in a bid to help Filipinos working abroad and their families.
The President graced the 7th anniversary of the Buhay OFW at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, where he recognized the sacrifice of overseas Filipino workers.
“The only way, the most direct way of helping you is to improve the Philippines,” the President said in his speech.
“You are out of the country because you want a more gainful employment. Not an excessive one but mas mataas, a higher rate and perhaps, the quality of service,” he added.
The Chief Executive cited the need to improve the economy in order to give justice to the hardworking OFWs.
“You have to improve the economy. To do justice to the sweat of people outside, rich or poor, that their families here are protected,” he said.
“Wala naman silang ibang hinihingi. They are not asking for anything else from the government. As a matter of fact, they are the ones remitting money to the government,” he added.
The President also discussed the problem of illegal recruitment and described such practices as “pure oppression.”
In addition, President Duterte said he has been declaring war against drugs and illegal recruiters.
“You know, if you try to bring the worst in me as a human being, try these crimes and you would really see the worst person in this planet. And I like it. Being the worst person. Because I… just stated incessantly by Marissa, that’s really pure oppression,” he said.
The Chief Executive also touted the polices implemented by his administration aimed at easing the burden of OFWs.
“Noon, sa Immigration, matagal ang proseso kasi marami pang kinukutso-kutso ka — left and right. I think, in my time, there is none,” he said.
During his speech, President Duterte also expressed his gratitude to the private sector for its assistance to the government with regard to the troubles faced by Filipinos working abroad.
“Again, I thank the private sector, especially the Buhay OFW, for working closely with the government in this endeavor,” he said.
“Human trafficking is a serious problem that transcends borders. Therefore we all have a responsibility in making sure that this battle is won,” he added.
The President said the government and the private sector would work together to improve the lives of OFWs.
During the event, the President also witnessed the launching of Buhay OFW TV’s Anti-Trafficking OFW Movement (ATOM), which seeks to create awareness and to prevent Filipinos from falling prey to human trafficking. ### PND