Vice President Jejomar Binay will leave on Tuesday for the United Arab Emirates and speak with Filipino communities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
“Every time I go abroad, I always ensure that I could get in touch with our kababayan [countrymen], listen to their concerns and see how our office could help them,” Binay said on Monday.
He served as Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns for almost five years.
“I deem it important to talk personally with our migrant workers and check how they are doing. Just like our kababayan in the countryside, our OFWs need attention and constant care from our government,” Binay said.
“Distance shouldn’t hamper our government leaders from reaching out to Filipinos working and living abroad or outside Metro Manila. In fact, it should encourage them to leave their offices once in a while to see and hear first-hand the plight of our people,” he added.
While in UAE, the Vice President will visit OFW centers at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine consulate in Dubai.
He will serve as witness to a mass wedding of 25 couples at the consulate.
Binay will also meet with students and faculty of Far Eastern School and attend the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) 96 and APO EMARAT 121 General Membership Meeting and Fellowship Night.
UAE is home to 574,336 Filipinos, according to 2014 figures from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Majority are skilled and low/semi-skilled employees followed by household workers and professionals.
In previous statements, Binay—a candidate for President in the May 2016 elections—said his administration will endeavor to create more domestic jobs to reduce the number of Filipinos leaving to work abroad.
“My administration will focus on strengthening the five biggest creators of employment—agriculture, manufacturing, mining, business process outsourcing and export—to provide more jobs,” he said.
“Working abroad should be a choice, not a necessity,” the Vice President added.
In the short term, according to him, he will continue as well as improve the financial literacy programs taught to OFWs.