MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday said his overseas trips were meant to further strengthen the Philippine economy for the benefit of Filipino migrant workers and their loved ones back home.
In a message to the Filipino community in Tokyo, Marcos said that his administration's goal is to improve Filipinos' quality of life, so that they would not be compelled to seek employment abroad.
"Ang aking pangarap ay masabi na natin na sapat ang trabaho sa Pilipinas... at kapagka ang isang Pilipino ay nag-abroad para magtrabaho, ito ay dahil pinili niyang pumunta sa abroad, hindi napilitang pumunta... dahil may magandang buhay sa ating bansa," he said.
(My dream is to have sufficient jobs in the Philippines, so that when a Filipino goes to work abroad, it is because he or she wants to and not because he or she was forced to... because we have a good quality of life in our country.)
He added that his visit to Japan, his 10th overseas trip since assuming the presidency, also aimed to entice Japanese business leaders to invest in the country by generating jobs and establishing offices here, as well as to showcase the Philippines' post-pandemic economic recovery.
"Kaya po kami nandito... upang kausapin ang ating mga kaibigan dito sa Japan mula sa pamahalaan, mula sa mga malalaking korporasyon, at sinasabi namin na maganda ngayon ang sitwasyon sa Pilipinas, 'Nakaahon na kami sa mga problemang hinarap noong pandemya,'" he said.
(We are here to tell our friends from the Japan's government and major corporations that our situation in the Philippines has improved, and that we have recovered from the problems we faced during the pandemic.)
He acknowledged the contributions of the Filipino community to the Philippine economy, and acknowledged their efforts in developing the country's good reputation among Japanese employers.
Marcos also assured Filipinos in Tokyo that the government is committed to assist them in any way possible through the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
He also thanked them for their support for his presidential bid in the May 2022 polls.
"It is our turn now to return the favor, the support, and the affection that you have given us with the services of government, not only to OFWs, but also to all our Filipino citizens," he added.
During his working visit to Japan, Marcos has scored investment pledges from Japanese business leaders, particularly in the energy, water, and transportation sectors.
Some Japanese firms in the semi-conductor and wiring harness sector have also pledged to invest in the Philippines.
The investment pledges from Marcos' visit to Japan is estimated to be worth "billions of pesos" and about 10,000 jobs, Malacañang earlier said.
Marcos is scheduled to return to the Philippines from Japan on Sunday evening.
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