HONG KONG – President Rodrigo Duterte asked overseas-based Filipinos for three to four years to solve graft, corruption and illegal drugs in the country, to pave the way for their return.
Facing an exultant crowd of Filipinos here on Saturday, President Duterte said he and his Cabinet are doing their “very best” to encourage Filipino professionals working abroad to return home and contribute to national and economic development.
“Give me time. Three to four years… Four years okay talaga tayo,” the President said in his speech as he met with the Filipino community at Regal Airport Hotel.
“As I say, I will not allow my country to go to the dogs. With that kind of situation,[in] three to four years pwede na kayong makauwi niyan [you can come home]. Invest in some business,” he added.
He likewise noted the improved relations between the Philippines and China, which has opened doors to various investments expected to generate jobs.
He also expressed optimism about the Belt and Road Initiative, saying that he expects something good to be gained from the two-day forum in Beijing, China.
“This is the strategy of President Xi Jinping for the prosperity of maybe in this region . . . the ASEAN community and throughout the world. Mainly because, I think, there…heads of state attending this meeting and I was one of those lucky to be invited. I’m sure that mapapag-usapan namin doon [one of those we’ll be discussing there] would really be how to improve the economy of the world,” he said.
Should the Philippines maintain its momentum, Duterte said he sees the country “stabilize” in three years time bringing about better lives for Filipinos.
The Chief Executive reiterated the important role of OFWs in eliminating corruption in government, asking them to be assertive should they get into such a predicament.
OFW Bank ‘in process’
Meanwhile, in a media interview before proceeding to Beijing, President Duterte said an OFW bank is already “in process.”
“We are acquiring it. We are now preparing the law,” the President assured.
“Gusto ko pati ‘yung marino, separate bureau, or whatever na ano kasi ang gusto nila ganun rin eh. Pinagpapasa-pasa sila kung saan-saan sila pumunta. I want a building all for themselves where they can get — follow the requirements from government. And I told government to go online,” he said.
The President, however, said it needs to pass through Congress. “It cannot be done by an executive fiat,” he said.