Kalayaan Grounds, Malacañan Palace
December 30, 2022

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. underscored the vital role of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in keeping a strong Philippine economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other global challenges as he honored them by spending time with their families at the Kalayaan Grounds in Malacañan Palace.

The event served as an opportunity for OFW families to exclusively have fun and enjoy while in Malacañang, especially that booths were set up for children to eat, play and feel the spirit of Christmas.

First Lady Atty. Louise Araneta Marcos and Presidential sons Joseph Simon Marcos and William Vincent Marcos joined the President in today’s event.

“Gusto ko sanang pasalamatan at magbigay-pugay sa ating mga itinuturing na bagong bayani, ang ating mga OFW, para sa lahat ng mga nagawa ninyo para sa atin, para sa inyong pamilya, para sa inyong bayan,” the President said in his message.

He conveyed his appreciation to the OFWs for creating the good image of Filipinos around the world. “Tinitingala ang mga manggagawang Pilipino bilang isa sa mga pinakamagagaling — hindi lang isa sa pinakamagagaling, yung pinakamagaling — pinakamasisipag at pinakamaalagain sa buong mundo. Talaga naman maipagmamalaki natin na tunay na walang katumbas ang inyong husay, lakas at galing. Kayo ang patunay na kayang magtagumpay ng Pilipino saan mang dako ng mundo mapunta,” he added.

He also expressed his hope for DMW to continue and expand its services to help more OFWs and urged the latter to maximize the services offered by the Department for the betterment of their welfare and their families.

DMW Secretary Susan Ople reported to the President that as of November 2022, there are a total of 16,000 OWWA scholars. She also thanked the President and the legislature for approving the Department’s budget of PhP15.871 billion to further enhance its services and abide by the Chief Executive’s marching order to care not only for the OFWs but more importantly, for their children and families.

Several family members of the country’s modern-day heroes received gift packs from the President as ‘Pamaskong Handog Para sa Pamilyang OFW’ coincided with the first anniversary of the creation of Republic Act No. 11641, the law creating the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) headed by Secretary Susan Ople.

President Marcos Jr. was also gifted with paintings and gift cards from the OFW Children’s Circle. Talented members of the OFW Children’s Choir sang medley carols in front of the Chief Executive while a scholar of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) recited a spoken poetry masterpiece from an OFW child’s point of view.

Today’s ‘Pamaskong Handog Para sa Pamilyang OFW’ was also supported by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) headed by General Manager Melquiades Robles.

“Bukas na bukas ang Palasyo sa inyo, hindi lamang dito sa grounds kung hindi sa pakikinig at sa pag-uunawa sa inyong mga problemang hinaharap,” President Marcos Jr. ended in his message.

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