President Duterte to champion plight of migrant workers during ASEAN Summit

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on April 26, 2018, emphasizes the need to work together with the fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders for the realization of the ASEAN Vision 2025 which aims to promote the region’s security in areas of politics, economy, as well as socio-cultural communities. RENE LUMAWAG / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, April 26, pledged to advance the plight of migrant workers during the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore.

In his departure statement at the Davao International Airport, President Duterte said he and his fellow leaders will continue to work towards the realization of ASEAN Vision 2025 by identifying and prioritizing initiatives that will move forward action lines in the region’s political-security, economic and socio-cultural communities.

“We shall promote the further implementation [and operationalization] of outcome documents, particularly the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers and the ASEAN Declaration [on] the Role of Civil Service as Catalyst to Realize ASEAN Vision 2025,” he said.

The Chief Executive likewise gave assurance that the government will take every opportunity and use every available venue to uphold and protect the rights of Filipinos working abroad.

“What would interest me really there is articulate the plight of migrant workers. Isa tayo sa pinaka-marami,” he said.

President Duterte noted that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s invitation provides the opportunity for Southeast Asian nations to continue working closely to further strengthen community-building and advance greater peace, security and stability in the region.

He said the Philippines, as a responsible state, remains committed to engage its partners to achieve the change it wants and needs.

Duterte underscored that the Summit’s theme, Resilient and Innovative, helps push forward the thematic priorities that were pursued during the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship last year.

The President also highlighted technology and innovation, noting that these will be the key instruments in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth.

“With the technology and innovation, we can also further enhance the regional interconnectivity and address traditional and emerging threats,” he further said.

At the sidelines of the regional meeting, President Duterte said he will discuss with the other leaders regional and global threats on peace, security, especially terrorism.

Duterte also said he is looking forward to meeting Filipinos living and working in Singapore.

Duterte, who left for Singapore on Thursday evening, said he borrowed a small jet and will pay for the fuel as well as the allowances of the pilot and stewardess.

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