MANILA – Vice President Jejomar Binay has returned to the Philippines with five distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) after his three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Binay arrived past 9:45 p.m. Friday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with OFWs Rosminda Bauwi, Leowilyn Tan, Lucresia Insesto, Angelyn Tak and Belsie Espine.
The five women, who suffered from illegal recruitment and abuse by employers, earlier sought shelter at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Dubai.
Binay, former presidential adviser on OFW concerns, vowed to assist in the investigation of their cases. He also called for clearer guidelines on the repatriation of undocumented workers.
Binay also promised workers that should he be elected president, he will prioritize the creation of jobs so that overseas employment “becomes a matter of choice and not necessity.”
The Vice President is unfazed by critics who will just dismiss his visit to UAE and dialogs with the Filipino community there as mere political tactic.
“Tingnan na lang natin iyung kabutihang ginagawa eh minamasama. Basta ako e natutuwa at nakatulong ako na maibalik itong mga ito na dapat maibalik,” he told reporters.
MEETING WITH CROWN PRINCE, OFWS
Binay held dialogs with OFWs and UAE officials when he visited the emirates, host to an estimated 900,000 Filipino expatriates.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) said he met for 30 minutes with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces on Tuesday.
“Sheikh Mohammad said he would very much like to visit the Philippines in the future,” ?Binay said.
“He said the UAE was grateful to the Filipinos who live and work here,” the Vice President added.
They also discussed potential investment opportunities in power and infrastructure in the Philippines, the OVP said.
The Filipino official also met with UAE Labor Minister Shaqr Ghobash to discuss three new labor decrees and the status of ongoing negotiations on the Memorandum of Understanding on Labor and on Household Service Workers (HSWs) Unified Contract.
Binay also shared lunch with 39 wards at the Philippine Labor Office, among them victims of maltreatment and human trafficking.
In the afternoon, Binay visited Philippine Global School-Abu Dhabi, an all-Filipino primary and secondary academic institution of more than 2,000 students.
The Vice President was the guest of honor at a Filipino evening community event hosted by the Bayanihan Council.
Binay came home today to survey results showing that he now tops the current crop of presidential bets.
READ: Binay pulls away; Chiz, Bongbong statistically tied for VP: SWS
He thanked supporters for the survey lead.
“Uulit ulitin ko po, I’m humbled by the results of the survey. Nagpapasalamat ako sa ating mga kababayan na tuloy-tuloy pa ang kanilang suporta at dasal sa darating na halalan. Pero tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pag-iikot. Itutuloy ko pa rin ang pakikipagkita at pakikipag-usap sa ating mga kababayan,” he said. — With a report from Fred Cipres, radio dzMM
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