MANILA, December 5, 2017 — Filipinos working in Hong Kong, Macau, and other parts of the world are being strongly encouraged to invest their earnings in the Philippines to secure the future of their families.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano made the call during separate townhall meetings with members of the Filipino community in Hong Kong and Macau on Sunday.
“Over the years, you and our other kababayans abroad have been investing in the future of our country,” Cayetano told those 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.
Cayetano thanked the close to 219,000 Filipinos working in Hong Kong and the 30,000 in Macau for their remittances which, along with those from other Filipinos abroad, continue to help fuel the country’s economic growth.
Citing the unprecedented 6.9 percent growth of the economy in the third quarter of the year, Cayetano said he expects more Filipinos working abroad to take advantage of the economic boom and start investing their savings in the Philippines.
At the same time, he urged overseas Filipinos to continue acquiring new skills to allow them 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,” he said.
“President Duterte knows very well the important role our overseas workers play and 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 Cayetano, one of the developments that will benefit overseas workers is the availability by January of Philippine passports that would be valid for 10 years, which will lead to more efficient processing of multi-year work contracts for overseas workers.
“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,” he said. (DFA)