Pinoy group in US lauds Duterte’s anti-poverty programs
A group of Filipinos based in Washington D.C. has expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte's reform efforts aimed at poverty alleviation.
The group calling itself #Kababayan4Change Movement, urged communities of Filipino migrants in the United States and other countries to support Duterte, whom they described as “a fresh break in the tired, elitist, and corrupt politics of past governments.”
In a statement entitled “US Filipinos Amplify Call for Real Change Under President Duterte,” the group advised the President to “capitalize on the support of the 72 percent of the 432,000 OFWs who voted for him.”
Signatories to the statement dated Aug. 5, 2016, include Aurora Victoria David of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns; Fr. Esteban de Leon of the Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Virginia Beach; Janet Basilan Gardose of Gabriela, USA; and Wayne Jopanda of Migrante, Washington D.C.
The statement claimed that migrant Filipinos voted for Duterte in the May 2016 national elections because of “his no-nonsense style and salt of the earth demeanor.”
It cited Duterte's promise to make working abroad “optional and not a necessity” under his term as the statement that swayed the OFWs to vote in his favor.
“Filipinos overseas, including those in the United States are no strangers to the toxic effects of the fundamental problems that plague the Philippines,” the statement said.
“Crushing poverty and a lack of viable opportunities in the Philippines force Filipino workers to migrate and be separated from their families,” it added.
Moreover, it said that after four decades of “systematic export” of Filipino workers that started during the term of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, “more than 10.2 million Filipinos (now) reside overseas.”
Some 6,000 Filipinos to leave the Philippines everyday to find employment elsewhere.
The group expressed hope that President Duterte will set policies that will help OFWs set up “home-grown businesses… in the Philippines.”
They said such situation will “create more job opportunities and reverse the trend of Filipinos having to leave the comfort and safety of the homeland for better economic prospects.”
The #Kababayan4Change, which was initiated by Migrante International, was launched in the United States as “a venue for overseas Filipinos for increased involvement, voice and representation in the politics and policies of the homeland.” — Fort Nicolas Jr/LBG, GMA News