Vice President Jejomar Binay vowed to create more jobs if he wins the presidential race next year to curb the number of Filipinos seeking employment abroad.
“Pipilitin ko sa aking panunungkulan na mapaganda at maiangat ang buhay ng mga Pilipino nang sa gayon hindi na kayo magsasakrispisyo pa na mapahiwalay sa inyong mga pamilya (I will do my best to improve and uplift he lives of Filipinos so that they will no longer have to leave their families),” Binay said during the Sarangani Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Family Day.
“Ang aking pangarap: sana ang mga Pilipino ay hindi na aalis ng Pilipinas dahil sa paghihirap. Kung aalis man sila ay dahil aasenso sila sa kanilang propesyon(This is my dream: That Filipinos will no longer have to leave the country because of their difficult plight. If they have to leave, it will be so that they will rise in their profession),” he said.
Binay earlier said his administration will focus on strengthening the five biggest creators of employment — agriculture, manufacturing, mining, business process outsourcing, and export.
Binay has been the presidential adviser on OFW Concerns from October 2010 to June 2015.
He said that even if he is no longer the presidential adviser for OFW concerns, the Office of the Vice President continues to provide aid to those in need.
The Office of the Vice President was able to assist 6,916 OFWs as of October 31, 2015. These included requests for repatriation; assistance on salary and benefits claims; legal and monetary assistance for detained OFWs; and grievances against employers, recruiters, and agents.
“Kayong mga OFW ay dapat bigyan pa ng respeto, pitagan at serbisyo. Kayong mga bagong bayani ang dahilan kung bakit maganda ang ekonomiya ng ating bansa. Malaki ang utang na loob ng sambayanang Pilipinas sa inyong mga OFW (OFWs are the new heroes, you are the reason why the economy remains strong. The country owes you big),” he added.
Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that more Filipinos are leaving to work abroad. The number of new hires ballooned to around 487,000 in 2014 from roughly 342,000 in 2010.
The number of seafarers also rose to 401,000 in 2014 from 347,000 in 2010.
Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, said a Binay administration will create employment opportunities so that Filipinos will no longer have to seek opportunities in other countries.
“Inaasahan na sa pagdami ng lokal na trabaho sa panahon ng administrasyong Binay ay liliit ang bilang ng mga mahihirap nating mga kababayan. Pwede na nating sabihing mag-aabroad tayo dahil gusto natin, at hindi dahil napilitan lang (With the creation of more jobs, the number of poor Filipinos will be reduced. Then we can say that we can say that we are going abroad because we want to, not because we have to),” he added.