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Duterte helps OFW in Qatar in TV program

President Duterte has ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs to investigate the injustices committed against overseas Filipino workers after he learned that a female OFW in Doha, Qatar was unable to go home due to a debt she had after her employer cancelled her contract 11 years ago.

“If we have time, I will personally ask the Foreign Affairs department to give more focus on the acts of injustice and we will do the necessary things to help you,” Duterte told OFW Nancy Aransanzo during their conversation via Skype in the taped pilot episode of his program “Mula sa Masa, Para sa Masa” on PTV 4 Friday night.

Duterte asked Aransanzo to go to the Philippine Embassy in Qatar and he will take care of the rest.

“Punta kayo sa embassy natin, babayaran ko utang ninyo at bigyan ko kayo ng travel documents,” a teary-eyed Duterte said.

“Papadala ako ng pera pambayad sa utang niyo at umuwi na kayo kaagad,” he added.

According to the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Aransanzo was originally legally employed as an office assistant in Doha last 2004 until her employer cancelled her contract when she refused to set up an “illegal recruitment agency” to hire fellow Filipinas.

According to Aransanzo, her 11-year-old daughter wrote letters addressed to the President asking for help but they never reached him. They only received help during Duterte’s visit to Qatar over the Holy Week last month.

A crying Aransanzo thanked Duterte for his gesture during their Skype conversation. Duterte said he is only doing his job. “Huwag mo akong pasalamatan, ginagawa ko lang ang trabaho ko,” he told Aransanzo.

“Bigyan mo ako ng ngiti, huwag mo ako bigyan ng iyak kasi pati ako naiiyak na dito.”

Last month, Duterte was able to bring home 140 OFWs from his state visits to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar during the Holy Week. These OFWs availed of the amnesty program by Saudi Arabia.

The repatriated OFWs received a total of R10,000 each from the government as they arrived in the country last April 17, a small token of appreciation for their sacrifices, according to Duterte.

“I am thankful that you got home safely. You may now be with your family and loved ones. We know your hard work and sacrifice,” he said after abandoning more than half of his five-page prepared speech.

Duterte also thanked the OFWs for keeping the economy afloat through their remittance. “They helped us very much.

Nagpapadala sila ng steady income na mga remittances nila, so kailangan magbayad tayo at malaki ang binibigay ng overseas workers,” he said.

“Salamat sa tulong na inyong naibigay sa bayan.”

Duterte’s program, a revamped version of the one he used to host when he was still mayor of Davao City, also airs over the Presidential Communications Facebook page. PTV 4 Director for Operations Rocky Ignacio is his co-host. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)