by Mocha Uson
The moment our OFWs in Middle East saw President Duterte, we saw and felt their smiles, their tears, their happiness, their love, and their hopes that coincide with the goal of the President: a better tomorrow for Philippines and the Filipino people.
I was included in the delegation of President Duterte in his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Quatar. While there are those who were angered with this and questioned my inclusion in the delegation, I’m fortunate enough to have my DDS family defend me from these people who are always eager to find a flaw in the President or his supporters. To be honest, I was also surprised to be included in the President’s delegation; but I know that I’m not there for vacation, I’m there for the OFWs and my DDS family.
Unbeknownst to everyone, my career started when I became an OFW in Doha, Qatar. Me and my group performed in the biggest club in Middle East where most of our audience are Filipinos. I became close with the Filipinos there who became my source of strength and joy in times of sadness. That is where I understood the sacrifice our OFWs make for their family and the sadness they endure in hope of a better future. And this is one of the reasons I was included in the state visit, to perform again, but this time to perform my duties as a government official and connect with the OFWs to know their concerns and need, then forward it to the appropriate agencies who could assist them.
One of the things that the bitter enemies of President Duterte cannot seem to understand is that unlike them, he truly cares for the people. Our OFWs in the Middle East is one of the main reasons of his visit, he wants to know and listen to their problems and concerns because like Secretary Bello said, the OFWs are close to the heart of the President.
Which is why the visit to the Middle East is important and beneficial for our OFWs and our country even if there are those like Mr. Tatad who are criticizing the visit because it was done during the Holy Week. What is more important, for the President to take vacation and look good for the Catholics like Mr. Tatad or is it more important that he works for the good of the OFWs and the country?
For me, it’s like asking which is better, good image or good deeds? I believe that the President’s visit to the Middle East during Holy Week should not be a point for criticism but praise because instead of taking a vacation, he prioritized the need of our OFWs and our nation. This is also why many OFWs have felt that they are important in the eyes of President Duterte, many have cried and were overjoyed because of his visit.
We call the OFWs our “Bagong Bayani” but I think a beautiful title is not enough, we must also treat them as important as we imply in the title we give to them.
We must let the OFWs know that they are important not just through words but through actions as well; which is why the Duterte administration resolved the problem of “Tanim-Bala” which also victimized a lot of OFWs, we also now have a one-stop shop for OFWs to easily process their documents, the government is also working on the OFW ID for convenience of the OFWs. The truth is, all of these are simple actions that could have been done by the previous administration but it’s like they lack the important ingredient in being a government official: love and care for the people.
The Duterte administration is not even one year in office but it has done a lot for the OFWs and the Filipinos. This shows that love and care cannot just be expressed through word but through action as well.
Because of the state visit in the three countries in the Middle East, President Duterte took home a lot of investments and many undocumented OFWs were given the chance to go back home.
I have witnessed first-hand the diligence of the President and his administration in working for a better lives for our OFWs in the Middle East and the Filipinos in the Philippines. When we arrived at Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, each official went straight to work. Secretary Andanar faced the OFWs to organize a forum where their concerns can be heard. It was all work from that point, meetings with OFWs and businessmen. We also witnessed the admiration of the Saudi King toward President Duterte, which overshadows his bitter enemies and makes their attempt to destroy him more laughable because the more they attack, the stronger he becomes just like the people’s support for him.
Given this, I believe that any destabilization plot against the President will fail because the Filipino people will be there to defend him. When I saw how hard-working President Duterte is and when I saw the support of the OFWs and felt their love for Duterte, I said to myself “Find me a government official who works harder than President Duterte and I will withdraw my support for him and will support that government official instead.”
But that seems impossible because even if the President is already 72 years old, when I saw him work, it’s like he’s superman. Combined with his strength and diligence is his love for the country and the Filipinos, and because of this I know that once he finishes his term and continue with federalism.
Our country will surely rise again and like he said before, time might come when Filipinos do not need to be an OFW and be away from their loved ones.
Disclaimer: The above article is written by Mocha Uson being published in PhilStar. I got her permission to republish this article in my blog. Thank you for reading her article. God bless you more.
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