THE Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) strongly encourages Filipinos working in Macau, Hong Kong, and other parts of the world to invest their earnings back in their home country.
During separate town hall meetings with members of the Filipino community in Hong Kong and Macau on Sunday, December 3, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano urged Filipinos working abroad to consider investing in the Philippines to secure the future of their families.
Citing the Philippines’ unprecedented 6.9 percent economic growth in the third quarter of 2017, Cayetano said overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) should “take advantage of the economic boom and start investing their savings.”
“Over the years, you and our other kababayans abroad have been investing in the future of our country,” Cayetano told Filipinos who attended the meetings at the St. Joseph the Worker Church in Macau and at the Duke of Windsor Auditorium in Hong Kong.
“Your remittances serve as investments not only in education and housing but also for the future of your loved ones back home,” he added.
The DFA secretary thanked the close to 219,000 Filipinos working in Hong Kong and the 30,000 in Macau for their remittances, including from those in other countries, which continue to “fuel the country’s growth.”
Cayetano also encouraged Filipinos to continue acquiring 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,” the DFA chief said.
Cayetano further noted that President Rodrigo Duterte also “knows very well the important role our overseas workers play.”
“This is precisely the reason why he wants us to not only look after your interests and welfare but to also provide you with comfort and convenience,” he added.
According to the DFA, OFWs can apply for passports that would be valid for 10 years starting January next year, which will lead to more efficient processing of multi-year work contracts for overseas workers.
“This is one of reforms that responds 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.