- President told repatriated OFWs not to hesitate in calling if they have problems
- He instructed them to take advantage of the gov’t’s loan programs to start their own business
- He also promised OFWs that he will definitely improve the country’s economy
MANILA, Philippines – He’s got your back.
Personally addressing 128 OFWs who have just been repatriated from Saudi Arabia, President Rodrigo Duterte assured them of his support as they try to get back on their feet here.
“If it spells hunger, don’t hesitate to call me,” ABS-CBN quoted him as telling the OFWs.
To help the OFWs out, the president — aside from giving them P5,000 in immediate financial assistance each — also instructed them to take advantage of the loans being given by the government so they can set up their own businesses.
”Makakahiram ka ng pera at makapag-start ka ng negosyo mo [You can borrow money and start your own business. Take advantage of it. It is for everybody]”, he said.
Duterte also promised that he would definitely improve the country’s economy even as more OFWs are expected to return due to unfavorable economic conditions in the country they work in.
”Maghintay-hintay lang kayo. Bigyan mo lang ako ng konting pahanon, ayusin ko ang ekonomiya at may [Just wait. Give me some time, I will fix the economy and there will be an] opportunity for you to work here,” he said.
At least hundreds of OFWs are still stranded in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East due to an economic downturn and an increasing nationalization of jobs.
Duterte promised those still stranded they will definitely go home.
“We have the money, contingency, and resources to do it,” he said.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III personally flew to Saudi Arabia to assist and repatriate the stranded OFWs.