Duterte offers farmland to OFWs from Kuwait


PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has offered farmlands to Filipino workers who have been repatriated from Kuwait for their livelihood.

“Yung gusto ng lupa, tingnan ninyo kung saan gusto nyong bukid dyan, bibigay ko. Kalaki ng Pilipinas. Hindi mo naman maubos yan,” said Duterte in a speech Tuesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 as part of a welcome ceremony for 150 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were repatriated from Kuwait.

The President also told the OFWs they can avail of the Department of Labor and Employment’s livelihood training program.

Duterte underscored the necessity and urgency to act now to protect OFWs and assured OGWs that the government has enough resources to cater to their needs as they go home.

“So huwag na kayong bumalik doon… Iyong iba naman na who had a nightmare there, better come home,” he said.

The President said the government could also look for other markets for OFWs. He said that for instance, China is opening up for Filipino workers, particularly English teachers.

Japan is also another Asian destination for OFWs given its ageing society. The President predicted that in the next few years, Japan will require more caregivers and nurses.

At the same time, Duterte said that to create more jobs locally, he is beefing up efforts to encourage foreign buinesses to come to the Philippines.

Durerte meanwhile expressed his gratitude to the country’s major airlines — Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific — for offering their planes to the OFWs to return from Kuwait.

“I’d like to just say to Mr. Lucio Tan and the Gokongwei family, si Lance. In behalf of our countrymen—salamat po and I will remember you for all time,” the President said.

Earlier, the President announced a complete ban on OFW deployment to Kuwait after the body of an OFW was found in a freezer.

Tuesday’s event at the NAIA Terminal 1 is part of the administration’s program, “Sagip-Sundo ng Pangulo #pangOFWs.”

The President was joined by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, and other officials from the DOLE, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Bureau of Immigration, and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

rw: wjg