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MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte assured on Monday that the welfare of Filipino migrant workers is the top foreign policy concern of the Philippines.

Duterte made the announcement during his third State of the Nation Address as he hailed the economic contributions of migrant workers.

“I am a worker of government and it is my vow to make sure that your well-being remains our foremost foreign policy concern,” the President said.

Earlier this year, the President ordered a temporary ban on the deployment of Filipino migrant workers to Kuwait following a string of reported deaths and abuses on Filipino workers in the Gulf state, including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer.

The row was resolved in May after the Philippines and Kuwait signed a deal to provide better protection for Filipino migrant workers in the Gulf state.

“You (Filipino migrant workers) epitomize the innate resilience of the nation. You have shown your willingness to toil and sacrifice day in and day out for the long-term good of your family and loved ones,” Duterte said.

The President added that the Philippine government continues to work closely with other countries hosting Filipino migrant workers to ensure their welfare following reported abuses and deaths.

“It is for this reason that we are continuing to work with the host nations for the welfare of our countrymen,” Duterte said.

“I’ve always believed that no matter how well-intentioned a leader is, no matter how well conceived may be his mission, if he lacks the political will to do what needs to be done, they can only end up a failure and a hopeless dreamer,” he added.

Over 10 million Filipinos are abroad, and the remittances of those who work in other countries and territories are a lifeline to the Philippine economy.

Source: ABS-CBN News http://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/07/23/18/ofw-welfare-is-top-ph-foreign-…

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