MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has assured Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that the taxes they pay to the government will be protected under his administration.
“Do not be so sad about being taxed because your money here during my term is safe,” Duterte said as he conferred awards to outstanding OFWs, organizations at Malacañang Palace on Wednesday night.
“I will not allow corruption. I have fired so many Cabinet members for just an infraction,” he added.
Duterte promised that their taxes will be spent on social services and projects, particularly on his massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program that would bring comfortable life to every Filipino.
“Alam niyo (You know) we are trained outside especially from those coming from the Western world that people are willing to pay taxes but kailangan makita nila ‘yung pera nila (they need to see where these are spent),” Duterte said.
“And that’s we are trying to do. And to make it doubly sure that you won’t doubt me. It is money, it is corruptive and it is toxic,” he added.
He assured that the protection and promotion of the welfare and well-being of the OFWs will remain one of his government’s top priorities.
“This nation will always recognize your invaluable contribution to nation-building, and this administration will continue to craft policies and implement programs that will respond to your needs and protect your rights,” Duterte said.
The President also promised that Filipinos, particularly OFWs, traveling abroad will continue to have hassle-free experience in the airports.
“I don’t allow graft and corruption. I don’t allow the opening of bags in the airport kung mag-uwi lalo na ‘yung mga mahihirap talaga.(If you’re coming home, especially the poor). It pisses me to no end,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he will try to finish his relentless war against illegal drugs to preserve the bright future of the Filipinos, including the family members of OFWs.
Duterte, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation to the OFWs for their remittances and cited them as the key driver of the Philippine economy.
“I’m indeed very grateful that you have sent money so that this nation can ever flow because of the money. I am happy with that,” the President said.
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the more than 10 million overseas Filipinos are sending around USD25 billion (PHP1.3 trillion) a year.
“Maraming tulong n’yo sa pambansang ekonomiya. Kung wala po kayo matagal na tayo bumagsak (You are helping a lot our national economy. Without you, we surely have been down-and-out long time ago),” Bello said in a speech. PNA-northboundasia.com