By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

OFW FAMILY DAY. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday (Dec. 20, 2023) shakes hands with overseas Filipino workers at the OFW Family Day 2023 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. In his speech, Marcos acknowledged the sacrifices and contributions of OFWs. (PNA photo by Alfred Frias)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday assured overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that more projects are in the pipeline to help them and their families.

During the OFW Family Day celebration at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Marcos said his administration is committed to improving the lives of OFWs and providing support to their loved ones.

“Marami pang proyekto ang nakapila at kahit ang mga kasalukuyang programa ay papagandahin pa natin. Umaasa po akong susulitin ninyo at gagamitin ng wasto ang mga benepisyong ito (Many more projects are lined up and even the existing programs will be improvedd by us. I hope you will make the most of these benefits and use them properly),” Marcos said.

“Nandiyan po ang lahat ng assistance para mabigyan naman natin ang ating mga OFW ng isang magandang pagkakataon upang sila ay makapagsimula muli pagkatapos ng pandemyaMarami rin kaming binibigyang suporta sa inyong mga kaanak (All the assistance is there so that we can give our OFWs a good chance so that they can start over after the pandemic. We also provide a lot of support to your relatives),” he added.

Marcos is grateful to the OFWs for their significant contributions in improving the Philippine economy through their remittances.

Acknowledging the OFWS’ sacrifice and hard work, Marcos vowed that the government would continue promoting their welfare and rights.

He hoped that in the future, Filipinos would no longer need to work overseas because of poverty.

He noted that the government offers services and programs for the reintegration of OFWs who wish to return home and stay in the country.

He mentioned several programs for their reintegration, which include the Livelihood Development Assistance Program, the Balik Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay, the Financial Awareness Seminar-Small Business Management Training, the Enterprise Development Loan Program, and the Financial Assistance for the Development of the OFWs Association.

“Layunin natin na ang pangingibang-bansa ay hindi lamang dala ng pangangailangan upang maiahon ang pamilya sa kahirapan (It is our goal that moving overseas is not only driven by the need to lift the family out of poverty),” Marcos said.

Marcos expressed confidence that with the continued cooperation of the OFWs, his administration would be able to promote a “New Philippines”.

“Sa ‘Bagong Pilipinas,’ nais natin itong maging isang alternatibo na lamang dahil mas marami ang pagkakataon sa loob ng bansa (In a ‘New Philippines,’ we want it to be just an alternative because there are more opportunities within the country),” Marcos said.

“Kaya hiling ko na magka-isa tayo [sa] pangangarap at pagpapanday ng isang bansang matatag, maunlad, at puno ng oportunidad para sa bawat Pilipino (So, I ask that we stand united in dreaming and forging a country that is strong, prosperous, and full of opportunities for every Filipino),” he added.

Carrying a theme, “Nagkakaisang Pamilyang OFWs Patungo sa Bagong Pilipinas”, the OFW Family Day aims to celebrate the families and loved ones of OFWs who serve as their pillar of strength as they pursue their dreams of a better life. (PNA)