Malolos City, Bulacan — Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) on Friday, December 8, were guaranteed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that his administration will beef up efforts to give every Filipino a comfortable life during his term.
“I do not gamble with the lives and the comfort of the Filipino,” he said.
The Chief Executive made this assurance as he graced the 84th anniversary celebration of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium here.
President Duterte also assured the OFWs that there would be no harassment at airports by government employees.
The President underscored his campaign promise to put an end to graft and corruption.
“Kaya sabi ko nga ‘pag magdating na kayo, wala na ‘yang bukas-bukas. Pagdating ninyo, wala naman kayong harassment sa Customs? Diretso-diretso na kayo? Wala nang bukas-bukas ng mga bag? Hingi-hingi ng ganun?” he asked the OFWs.
“Sinabi ko na, ‘No opening of bags, no harassment, no nothing,’” Duterte said.
Another campaign promise discussed by the Chief Executive was the pursuance of peace with the rebels.
“Eh nagkalabuan na nga. Let’s give time for a calling off with the Communist Party of the Philippines,” he said.
“Sila Bebot pati si itong isa, si ano… Sabi ko muna, ‘Pahinga muna kayo because nagkakalabuan tayo,’” he added.
The President said government panel chief negotiator Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III could “always resuscitate” the talks with the New People’s Army at some other time.
With regard to the talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Duterte said both groups are recognized.
“We will pursue it to the logical end,” he said.
Duterte said the Philippines would never enjoy peace for all time if the problem in Mindanao would not be recognized.
“Hindi matatapos ‘yan if we do not talk about peace. Para sa akin, it has now become a territorial. It is not religion. I’m telling you this: It never has been. It is not now,” he noted.
“Pero ayusin natin ‘to kasi pag hindi, if we fail and there’s an open rebellion in Mindanao, sa gusto man nila o hindi pati ‘yung mga Moro, papasok ang ISIS pati extremists,” the President said.
He said if the Maranaos want to, they can have their own territory.
“Otherwise, if I go out hindi ko ito naayos, then medyo magulo talaga ang ating bayan,” he said.
The President also discussed that he had been accused of being a fascist or murderer.
But Duterte said, one thing he cannot be accused of is that he lacks love for his country.
“Eh noon pa po talagang sagad-sagad ang pagmamahal ko sa bayan ko,” he said.
During the event, President Duterte led the distribution of checks for livelihood grants for seven local government units and a non-governmental-organization.
The grants would be used for hand tractors, boats; the establishment of a barangay pasalubong center and a retail store for motorcycle parts and carwash service; additional capital for existing bigasan project and Nego-Kart; starter kits for food cart business, mini sari-sari stores and rice trading. ### (PND)