By Azer Parrocha
The Filipino workforce plays a crucial role in helping boost post-pandemic economic recovery in the Philippines, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Sunday.
He made this remark during his meeting with the Filipino community in Phnom Penh, Cambodia after his participation in the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits.
In his speech, he described the meeting with overseas Filipino workers as a “breath of fresh air” after the four-day biannual meetings.
He praised them for their dedication and hard work, citing their significant contribution towards the growth of the Philippine economy.
“OFW ngayon ang bumubuhay pa sa ekonomiya. Napakahalaga ng inyong ginagawa, napakahalaga ng inyong ginagawang trabaho (Overseas Filipino workers are keeping the economy afloat. The job you’re doing is very important),” he said.
Marcos likewise cited the importance of investing in human capital development, adding that it will return tenfold.
“Malakas ang loob ko magsabi na magre-recover tayo dahil yang mga Pilipino, lahat ‘yan ay maaasahan natin na kapag binigyan natin ng magandang pagkakataon, ng tulong. Hindi tayo mapapahiya (I am confident we will recover because Filipinos are reliable especially if we give them good opportunities, and support. We won’t get embarrassed),” he said.
He described Filipinos as “the best people in the world” for their qualities that foreign employers greatly admire.
“The FilCom in Cambodia are the ties that bind our deep and growing relationship with the Kingdom of Cambodia. Kayo ang dahilan kung bakit madali ako lumapit kay Prime Minister Hun Sen at sa hari ng Cambodia [Norodom Sihamoni] (You are the reason why I can easily approach Prime Minsiter Hun Sen and the king of Cambodia),” he said.
”Tumitingkad ang reputasyon ng Pilipinas dahil sa maganda niyong ginagawa (The reputation of the Philippines is being famous because of the good work you do),” he added.
Meanwhile, Marcos assured all OFWs of the government’s commitment to providing enough local jobs for Filipinos so they would no longer seek employment abroad unless they want to.
“Ang ating pangarap ay hindi na kailangang umalis ang Pilipino dahil hindi makahanap ng trabaho sa Pilipinas. Kung may aalis man, hindi ito sapilitan (My dream is that Filipinos no longer need to leave to work abroad because they can’t find jobs in the Philippines. If they want to leave, it won’t be have to be obligatory),” he said.
Marcos participated in the ASEAN Summits and Related Summits from Nov. 10 to 13 to promote and protect the Philippine interests in ASEAN and seek further cooperation in key priorities.
The President flew back to Manila Sunday night. (PNA)