In a news conference in Qatar, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella confirmed the agreements forged between PH-Bahrain on bilateral trade, avoidance of double taxation, strengthening of aviation links and new investments with the said country. The President himself also addresses the Filipino community there particularly the OFWs who are given tips on how to stop corruption from their end.
Youtube video by; Rappler
[VIDEO]: President Rodrigo Duterte meets the Filipino community in Bahrain on Good Friday, April 14.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Du30 attended the signing ceremony after their bilateral talks at Sakhir Palace where they discussed such economic cooperation. No loans were discussed but investments as claimed by detractors that the president’s travel include some money-borrowing spree.
Department of OFWs
In the president’s speech among Overseas Filipino Workers in Bahrain, he stresses that to assist them for their every need, they can go to their one specific branch, the Department of OFWs. A government official later contested this because this is allegedly opposite to their goal of stopping migrant workers to keep them in the country instead when livelihood programs are enhanced. But Filipinos do know that the demand and good deals overseas can’t easily stop the Filipino diaspora.
Due to the nature of OFW movements, the president takes into consideration their convenience thereby installing online services for them from application to queries when they are already abroad. This is one effective tool in today’s world.
Illegal Collection and Detention
The president urges OFWs to help him realize his campaign promise to stop corruption in the country. They can very well do this by insisting on their rights. Knowing when to refuse to pay some money for illegal favors is crucial especially in the immigration and customs departments as well as the BIR.
By: Elena Grace Flores
It only takes common sense and lots of concern to the Filipino people to be a good statesman. Bongbong Marcos exhibited these traits when he scrutinized what went wrong in the balikbayan box case during the Aquino administration. The improvement continued to this date even if he’s not a senator anymore. His greatest ally, president Rodrigo Duterte imposed the tax-free balikbayan box to up to 150,000 pesos worth of gift items but not for commercial use.
In many middle east countries, the punishment of drug smugglers is the death penalty. No family-loving Filipino would risk their job and their family for doing such crime. Hence, statistics say that not even one balikbayan box ever found to contain illegal drugs or guns. This is a huge failure on the part of the previous administration. Worst, they are giving balikbayans a bad name that they can be smugglers.
Bongbong Marcos urged the Government to give OFWs an Apology
Bongbong Marcos explained that no one would want to hire a smuggling Filipino overseas. There must be a massive campaign to apologize to the overseas workers through mass media – the same was as when the balikbayan box problem escalates. However, it was only Customs Commissioner Lina who apologized publicly before his transfer.
Duterte’s OFW Campaign for Christmas
Under the current administration, president Rodrigo Duterte announces before Christmas that there will be no taxes imposed to balikbayan boxes for as much as 150,000 pesos of goods for their family back home. The boxes are also not subject to physical examination anymore. Tampered boxes when received must be reported to the bureau through its hotline at (02) 7056052 or 7056067 or through its website: customs.gov.ph.
CNN reported that a balikbayan lost 20,000 pesos worth of perfumes after her balikbayan box got tampered. The media got the story first hand but the owner refrains from reporting the incident so as not to ruin her holiday. Anyhow, reporting such incidents is as easy as dialing the number given on the phone or logging into the bureau’s website. The government can help people better if one would report to the right channel instead of giving interviews to the media.
By: Elena Grace Flores
Pension plan for all overseas by COA will be installed. The government will make it compulsory for OFWs to subscribe to this so that they can stop going out of the country to work or retire whenever they need to.
Legal assistance for Php 100,000 Pesos will be released to any OFW who is in trouble abroad and needed to come back. That offer is not released by the present government. Binay will make sure it’s in place during his term.
Health, education and livelihood programs will be available to them for the welfare of their family when they return to the Philippines.
These are excerpts of the last Presidential debate held in Dagupan, Pangasinan on April 24, 2016