Filipinos in Cambodia wish Duterte success during WEF
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — While they won’t have a chance to see President Rodrigo Duterte this time, the Filipino community here is excited about the opportunities he will bag at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Asean.
Romyr Libo-on of Samahan ng mga Filipino sa Cambodia said the community is proud that Duterte was again invited to Cambodia after his first visit as a President last year.
Duterte will be meeting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for the third time after the Philippines hosted the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Manila.
“(The) World Economic Forum is an important event for global leaders to realign their platforms,” Libo-on told Inquirer.
“And since (the) Philippine economy is one of the best performing economies with a positive trend plus as Chairman for Asean 50, Philippines will be at the forefront of binding cooperation within the Asean nations,” he said.
Libo-on said his wish is for the President to bag “favorable labor and business agreements” that will benefit overseas Filipino workers.
He said their group has also been hoping for a direct flight from Phnom Penh to Manila “so [they can] cut the travel time and can make use of [their] time to be with [their] loved ones back home.”
Local airlines have been exploring the possibility but have so far not been able to deliver.
Cambodia is just a couple of hours away from the Philippines but because there is no direct flight between the two countries, one can spend the whole day traveling and waiting in transit for a connecting flight in another city like Bangkok.
There are 5,764 Filipinos in Cambodia, working in the garments and textiles industry, hotels and restaurants, academic institutions and civil society organizations.
This is the first time that Cambodia will host the WEF on Asean. Cambodia, which has close trade relations with China, is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. It was reclassified by the World Bank as a lower middle income country like the Philippines. CBB/rga
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