Saturday, December 25, 2010

DFA cites OFWs contributions, PH achievements in int'l arena

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday admired the perseverance of overseas Filipino workers who continue to contribute to the growth of the Philippine economy.
“We pray for the safety and well-being of our beloved overseas Filipinos and their families. May all of your sacrifices in the name of family bring forth dreams fulfilled and a brighter future,” DFA Secretary Alberto Romulo said in his Yuletide message.
On the eve of Christmas, Romulo also expressed the DFA’s gratitude to the Foreign Service personnel in 94 Philippine embassies, consulates general and missions “who faithfully serve at the front lines of Philippine diplomacy and consular services.
Romulo also cited the many achievements that the Philippine government has made in the international arena.
He said the DFA participated in the following international fora where the country made great strides in advancing its interests:

* In New York for the 65th UN General Assembly, the 2nd ASEAN-US Leaders Meeting, the signing of the MCA Compact Agreement, pull-aside talks with President Obama, and bilateral meetings with Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore, as well as business meetings promising P2.7 billion worth of investments;
·         In Hanoi, Vietnam for a State Visit and the 17th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, where, among others, the ASEAN member-states adopted the President's proposal for an ASEAN Nautical Highway or an ASEAN Ro-Ro to promote further connectivity among the various ASEAN states and its peoples; and
 ·         In Yokohama, Japan for APEC 2010 where the President secured investment pledges worth $3.655B from three Japanese companies and mounted an appeal for the leveling of the playing field on the issuance of travel alerts.
He added that during President Benigno Aquino III’s first 100 days in office, he interceded for the lives of Filipinos facing death penalties in Malaysia and China.
“Under his guidance, government representations continue for the commutation of death penalty cases in the Middle East. Distressed OFWs in Kuwait, Bahrain, Jeddah, Maldives and Martinique have been repatriated in addition to seafarers rescued from Somali waters,” said Romulo. 

He added, “With all of these achievements of the Department this year, the Yuletide season brings with it more than the usual holiday cheer. We have every reason to keep the faith with the promise of a better country for our people”.

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