Duterte makes OFWs wait for hours, but makes up for it with cash, gifts
CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines – Some 60 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have worked for years in Qatar arrived Thursday, December 7, excited because no less than President Rodrigo Duterte was welcoming them back home. They, however, had to wait an extra two more hours.
Their plane arrived on time as scheduled, but it was Mr. Duterte who did not arrive on time as he was stuck in another event.
The OFWs waited for more than two hours at the arrival lobby of the Clark International Airport because they were chosen to join the “Pamaskong Salubong para sa OFWs” annual program of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Their Qatar Airways Flight 230 touched down here at about 4:40 pm.
Meanwhile, the President was still stuck at the Kapampangan Food Festival at the ASEAN Convention Center some 4 kilometers away from the airport where he was the guest of honor and speaker.
Based on Mr. Duterte's schedule, he was set to arrive 3 pm at the Convention Center. He arrived at the food festival at around 4:40 pm.
But it was worth the wait for the OFWs. They not only had the time of their lives having photos taken with Mr. Duterte, they also received gifts from him
Ten were even luckier, the President handed each of them P50,000 cash gifts.
After giving out gifts like the traditional ninong of Filipino Christmas celebration, the President told them in jest: “Huwag ko lang kayong makikita sa loob ng casino… Papatayin ko kayo.” (I don't want to see you inside the casino. I will kill you.)
Mr. Duterte thanked the OFWs overseas workers for their remittances which helped boost the country’s gross domestic product.
In a mix of Filipino and English, the president promised the OFWs through the labor department, the government would prioritize local employment opportunities for them if they choose not to go back abroad to work.
He said the national government has savings that can be used for opportunities that would benefit former OFWs.
During the Kapampangan Food Festival, Mr. Duterte was scheduled to tour the food kiosks. He was also set to have an early dinner with former president and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and other provincial officials. Finally, he was to deliver a speech. – Rappler.com