CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga— President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his gratitude to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for their contribution to the country’s economic progress during the Overseas Filipino Workers Welfare Administration’s (OWWA) “Pamaskong Salubong Para sa OFW” program held at the Clark International Airport here on Thursday.
“So I represent the Filipino nation in thanking you for your sacrifice and for helping us keeping the gross domestic product. Malaking share ‘yan. Gross domestic product is simply income. Income of government ang ibig sabihin niyan,” President Duterte said adding that part of the government’s income came from the “toil and sweat” of OFWs.
To show the government’s gratitude for their sacrifices, the Chief Executive offered assistance to returning OFWs who would want to start a business or work in the country.
“Whatever is doing brisk business in your place, we will try to find out kung paano ito malakasan, how we can help by marketing it,” he said.
He added that the country will need more workers in the construction sector with several projects in the pipeline under the administration’s Build, Build, Build program.
“Marami sa akin sa Davao, maraming construction, ang problema wala silang mga professional plumber, ‘yung mga electricians na marunong, eh halos kasi nagsilabasan,” he said.
“And even those trying to build meron ngayong gagawin sa Maynila dalawang bridges na tulay and they require, you know, expertise — something has a little bit of what a construction is all about,” he added.
The Department of Trade and Industry, he said, is also helping small and medium enterprises start a business or market their products.
Thirty nine OFWs out of more than 200 Filipino workers, who arrived from Qatar Thursday afternoon were preselected to receive cash gifts and other surprises from the OWWA.
Among those who received I-DOLE were David Dionisio, Mellie Ramirez, Rodylyn Morada and Carlo Redoble.
Eight OFWs also received P50,000 cash gift from OWWA namely, Jerson Villamero Zamora, Felix Sbrigo Bambilla, Carlo Dalaguit Redoble, Alan Javalde Gonzaga, Ronald Panahon Ballicud, Judith Soto Gonzaga, Fatima Venancio Bibangon and Wellnor Gonzaga Zamora.
Ten thousand worth of appliances were also given to Grace Lyn Jimenez Colot, Marlondino Olarte Bambilla, Diosdado Gonzaga Laylay Jr., Joy Pinero Militante, Allan Manliquez Militante, Jocelyn Militante Labajo, Joy Manliquez Dalagon, and Prisco Villamero Zamora Jr.
Five repatriated OFWs also received P3,000 worth of appliances. They were Gerlie Gonzaga Laylay, Lowelyn Militante Gonzaga, William Sabado, Manolo Mediavillo and Rey Chua Jr.
Special gifts were also given to Julie Rose Mediavillo, Eller Ocampo, Eric Bacolod Delos Reyes, Nelson Dumantay and Fely Dumantay.
Before leaving, the President invited the repatriates to a simple gathering in Malacañan Palace to be able to discuss with them other programs that would help them start a new life in the country.