Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has encouraged Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Hong Kong and Macau to consider investing their earnings to secure the future of their families in the Philippines.
“Over the years, you and our other kababayans abroad have been investing in the future of our country,” Cayetano said on Sunday in two separate townhall meetings, according to the statement released by the DFA.
“Your remittances serve as investments not only in education and housing but also for the future of your loved ones back home,” the secretary added.
The meetings were held at the St. Joseph the Worker Church in Macau and at the Duke of Windsor Auditorium in Hong Kong.
Cayetano, who ran and lost as an independent vice presidential candidate in 2016, thanked the 219,000 Filipinos workers in Hong Kong and the 30,000 in Macau for their remittances that “fuel the country’s growth.”
After the unprecedented 6.9 growth in the economy during the third quarter, Cayetano said that he expects for more OFWs “to take advantage of the economic boom and start investing their savings” in the country.
The DFA secretary also encouraged overseas workers to acquire new skills to have access to “better-paying” jobs.
“I encourage you to attend regular skills enhancement and language trainings here in Hong Kong or Macau and even back in the Philippines as this will surely open better employment opportunities for you,” Cayetano said.
One of the developments of overseas workers’ benefits, the statement said, will be the availability of Philippine passports that are valid for 10 years, effective January next year.
“This is one of reforms that respond to your needs as overseas workers and I assure you that the Duterte administration will strive hard to ensure that all your rights and interests are protected,” Cayetano said.
Before the townhall meetings, Cayetano inspected the Philippine Consulate General in Macau for repair and renovations. The Philippine Consulate General was severely damaged when Typhoon Hato stuck in August.
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