Lusail Sports Arena, Qatar
April 15, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte met with the Filipino community in Qatar in the capital city of Doha.

In his keynote address, the President enjoyed a light moment with some of his 7,500 ‘kababayans’ gathered at the Lusail Sports Arena, the largest multipurpose facility in the Middle East. He briefly recalled his calling to run in the 2016 national elections due to the problems in Mindanao that were not previously being prioritized.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to put an end to corruption and the trade of illegal drugs in the country. “If I go to prison, so be it…I only serve the Filipino,” said President Duterte in reference to his directives to law enforcers in apprehending violators.

In addition, the Chief Executive stressed that the economy of the Philippines is doing well, with the country’s relations being heightened to its full potential. For instance, President Duterte said that he had to go to China to discuss with President Xi Jinping about the products and other services being exported and rendered to the said country.

In return, the government of China granted the Philippines with monetary support. “This would be for the Filipinos,” he said.

The President also expressed his gratitude to the Qatari government, particularly to the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, for personally inviting him to visit the state and for allowing him to use the stadium to meet the Filipino community.

According to data released by the Philippine Embassy to Qatar, there are around 222,712 working Filipinos with visas in the state. They are also the 4th largest foreign community that plays a crucial role in Qatar’s fulfillment of its 2030 economic vision, especially in the completion of major infrastructure projects for the World Cup 2020.

Filipinos in the medical profession and those in the education sector are also reported to have contributed in the advancement of Qatar’s society and basic social services.

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