Latest Stories

OFWs urged: Come home more often, join FB, invite all


Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

Add a few more Facebook friends and earn the title “new tourism ambassadors” in the process.

The catchy campaign come-on was pitched by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., who urged more than 9 million overseas Filipinos to “go into the social network and begin to connect with everyone else in the world.”

“No matter how many kinds of Filipinos are in the world today—Filipino-Americans, Filipino-Chinese, Filipino-Italians, Filipino-Japanese, Filipino-Singaporeans, Filipino-French, Filipino-Arabs, Filipino-Germans, Filipino-Canadians and Filipino-Swedes, among others—there will always be only one type of fun. It’s called Filipino fun,” Jimenez said in a speech during the closing program of the Second Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora on Feb. 27 in a Makati City hotel.

He said that kind of fun comes from an openness, which happens to be a common Filipino trait.

“To build a nation, one can only begin with the most basic of all ingredients—national pride. Your self-esteem, your confidence is what will make people sit up and take notice. They will praise you for your hard work, your perseverance, your intelligence, your discipline,” he said.

“But if you are great fun, if you are confident in yourself, they will follow you in the Philippines,” he added.


Come home

In his remarks, Jimenez also urged overseas Filipinos to come home to the Philippines more often.

Last year, a record 4.27 million tourists visited the country, a 9.07-percent increase over the 3.92 million visitors in 2011.

Jimenez expressed confidence that the 2012 figures could be surpassed this year with the help of the Filipino diaspora, which he said was “not just a spreading out of Filipinos.”

“Because if all we did was to spread out, it could be the beginning of a separation, which is what makes this gathering very crucial, some important and so necessary,” he said.

Common view

Jimenez said the tourism slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” is an invitation to the world that Filipinos share more than a language.

“We share a common view of our world. We remind each other of the things that matter most—family, friendship and God,” he added.

For his part, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the government was encouraging the active participation of overseas Filipinos and their involvement in national issues.

“Our foreign service posts are partners of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas  in communicating with and mobilizing overseas Filipinos to participate in various programs,” including, among others, the Business Advisory Circle, which assists Philippine nationals abroad in setting up business partnerships in the country; the Alay Dunong program, which systematizes the skills and technology exchange between overseas Filipinos and the Philippines; and the Return and Reintegration Program, which assists balikbayans to successfully reintegrate into local life.

Proactive approach

Del Rosario said the country’s embassies and consulates abroad were also taking a proactive approach to urge overseas Filipinos to join the country’s overseas absentee voting and dual citizenship programs.

The government also puts the welfare and protection of the rights of Filipinos abroad in its top priorities, he added.

“In cooperation with other government agencies and international organizations, the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) has repatriated a total of 14,203 OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) from areas affected by civil strife or natural disasters, from 2011 up to the present. In particular, a total of 3,457 Filipinos were repatriated from war-torn Syria since the uprising began in 2011. Despite the ongoing crisis in the middle eastern country, the Philippine Embassy in Damascus continues its operations in order to evacuate the OFWs who remain there and ensure their safety and well-being,” he reported.

Del Rosario said during the past eight years, 746 Filipino seafarers who fell victims to piracy had been released and repatriated through the joint efforts of the country’s embassies abroad, manning agencies and the sailors’ principals.

Last year, 122 Filipino victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment were assisted by the DFA, he said.

In 2011, a total of 28 OFWs facing the death penalty were provided legal assistance by the agency. Last year, at least 40 of 130 OFWs with death penalty cases were commuted to life or fixed imprisonment, he said.

To further intensify efforts to promote and protect the rights of Filipino migrant workers, the DFA head said the Philippines had adopted a new qualification framework containing sets of training regulations for Filipinos that prescribe competency standards for various qualifications.

“The country also ratified in August 2012 the International Labor Convention (ILO) No. 189 on decent work for household service workers,” said Del Rosario, noting the Philippines was the “first Asian nation to commit itself to the respect and implementation of the new ILO labor standard that was adopted on June 16, 2011, during the ILO conference in Geneva.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Commission on Filipinos Overseas , Facebook friends , Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario , International Labor Convention , overseas Filipino worker , Overseas Filipinos , Philippine tourism , Tourism Ambassadors , Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.

  • jclarendo

    OFW? It should be OFS (overseas Filipino slaves) the main export of RPI to the whole world before japayuki and brunayuki now slaves and malacanang is so proud of this people because it brings $$$$ to RPI.what a shame to you mr Pinoy

  • Yxon

    this suggestion is good…but, do also what you government people are tasked to do. and please improve the economy and peace in the country so that we could have something to settle in when we come back

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace