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Filipinos watch the President’s SONA on the Filipino Channel at a restaurant in Hawally.
Filipinos watch the President’s SONA on the Filipino Channel at a restaurant in Hawally.

KUWAIT CITY, July 26: Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait joined other Filipinos across the globe on Monday in watching the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The SONA that latest for almost two hours outline the promises he made during his election campaign, focusing on law and order, fight against drugs, economic development and improved government service by cutting the red tape. Most of the OFWs in Kuwait turned to The Filipino Channel for the live coverage of the SONA while others who were at work watched the free livestreaming on their computers as they waited patiently for Duterte to unveil some good news that would benefit over 11 million OFWs in various parts of the world. Most of the OFWs were elated after the President’s SONA.

Among the important highlights for the OFWs were the proposed establishment of the Department of OFWs and setting up of a one-stopshop for OFWs where they can do all the processing of documents. “I highly appreciate President Duterte’s sincerity as he delivers his SONA. The establishment of a onestop- shop will definitely be a big help to us, making the processing of documents easier and faster. This is good start for everyone,” stated Eva Lanzador, a Manpower Agency Secretary. Aside from extending the validity of driver’s license form three years to five years, Duterte in his SONA also mentioned the extension of the passport validity from five years to ten years.

“This is good news for all OFWs. This would save us from queuing and playing more for our passport renewal. The President is trying his best to ease our woes,” stated Nelson Fernandez, the President/Philippine Society of Marketing Specialists in Kuwait. In the Duterte’s SONA, he informed the public about the hotline that will receipt complaints against corrupt officials. “Change is indeed coming. He’s opening Malacanang to everyone and we can report now all erring officials. I like his speech. I was teary eyed. I really love Duterte,” shared Gina Mills, owner of Asia’s Grill.

On Duterte’s extensive campaign against drugs, OFWs have expressed satisfaction that they feel more secure now from lawless elements if they go home. “The President needs to focus on all domestic matters. He’s trying his best to clean up and fix everything so we will all be safe,” pointed out Marcel Guarin, a Spa owner in Kuwait.

Despite the inspiring SONA of the President, some OFWs were expecting more concrete plans from especially in addressing the plight of Household Service Workers in Kuwait and other countries in the Middle East who are prone to various forms of abuses. “I was expecting him to say that more jobs will be created in the Philippines, so we don’t have to work abroad anymore. I was expecting him to say that time will come that working abroad is just an option. We all want to go home soon,” stated Jojo Navarro, a Spa Staff. Filipinos in Kuwait are one in saying that the President needs everyone’s support so he can institute all the changes that he has promised for the betterment of the whole nation and the Filipino peo

By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

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