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Philippines

Duterte must protect overseas workers, priest says

Group provided overwhelming support for president-elect

Published: June 03, 2016 05:46 AM GMT
Duterte must protect overseas workers, priest says

Overseas Filipino Workers, a sector that helped bring incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to power, deserve improved state services and protection, said advocates.

Portuguese Father Paolo Prigol, head of the Missionaries of St. Charles' Apostleship of the Sea in the Philippines, said Duterte won the mock election conducted in the three dorms they run to cater to land- and sea-based overseas workers. He said the workers, mostly staying in Metro Manila to process their papers or await deployment, even went home to their respective parishes to vote last month.

The main ministry of the Missionaries of St. Charles, also known as Scalabrinians, is to cater to migrants. In the Philippines, they run a dorm for individuals and families in New Manila, Quezon City.

“We conducted a mock poll in the dorms and Duterte won by 70 to 80 percent,” revealed Prigol.

While the incoming president cannot stop Filipinos from seeking employment overseas, the priest said the Duterte administration should include in its agenda their protection.

“He [Duterte] should try to implement is to make sure that the jobs are decent, and that OFWS are well-protected,” he said.

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