Duterte: Gov’t to take every opportunity to uphold, protect OFWs’ rights
DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said the government was ready to seize every opportunity it can for the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
In his pre-departure speech for Singapore for the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit, Duterte said the Filipino people can be confident the government was working for the protection of OFWs.
“Rest assured that your government will take every opportunity [and] use every available venue to uphold and protect the rights of our countrymen working abroad,” he said.
He said that at the Asean Summit, he was expected to “discuss with my fellow Asean Leaders regional and global threats on peace, security, especially terrorism in our area.”
“What would interest me really there is articulate the plight of migrant workers. We are among the (countries) with many (workers in foreign lands),” the President said.
Singapore is among Asean countries that host OFWs. The others include Malaysia and Thailand.
“We shall promote the further implementation [and operationalization] of outcome documents, particularly the Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers and the Asean Declaration [on] the Role of the Civil Service as Catalyst to Realize Asean Vision 2025,” Duterte said.
He said he was also slated to meet OFWs in Singapore to know their situation and condition there.
“Upon my return, as usual, I shall report what we have achieved as we continue to stay true to our mandate of serving the best interests of our nation and people,” Duterte added.
The President said the 32nd Asean Summit in Singapore would also become a venue for Asean leaders to “continue working closely to further strengthen community-building and advance greater peace, security and stability in the region.”
“As a responsible state, the Philippines remains committed to engage our partners to achieve the change that we want and need,” Duterte said.
“Singapore’s theme of a Resilient and Innovative Asean helps push forward the thematic priorities pursued during the Philippines’ Asean Chairmanship,” he added.
Duterte said Asean nations were also hoped to enhance regional interconnectivity and “address traditional and emerging threats” with the technology and innovation.
“We will continue to work towards the realization of Asean Vision 2025 by identifying and prioritizing initiatives that will move forward [action] lines in the Asean’s political-security, economic, and socio-cultural communities,” Duterte added.
The President did not take questions from the media, saying he was in hurry.
The President left for Singapore aboard what he described as a borrowed jet.
He said he would have to “to pay for the fuel” and the pilots and the “stewardesses.” /je
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