PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte before daybreak yesterday offered to be the “ninong” of an overseas Filipino worker’s child.
Duterte, who had just arrived from state visits to the Middle East, noticed the infant while he was delivering a speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“Ilang taon na iyan? Nabinyagan na, wala pa?” he asked the child’s parent.
“Find a day na magpunta ka dito, punta ka sa DSWD, maghanap ako ng pari. Doon natin binyagan iyan at ako ang ninong.”
The President added that controversial blogger and MTRCB board member Mocha Uson could be the child’s godmother.
Duterte had discussed the concerns of OFWs with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar during his state visits there last week.
A total of 150 undocumented OFWs who were granted amnesty by the Saudi Arabian government arrived in the Philippines the same time as Duterte early Monday and received monetary assistance from the President.
The President said government would help the returning OFWs learn new livelihood by providing them with training and financial assistance.
“You can now be with your families and loved ones; we know your hard work and sacrifice. I have directed relevant government agencies to assist you as you turn a new chapter in your life. Salamat sa tulong na inyong naibigay sa bayan,” he said.
Duterte said a department focusing on the plight and welfare of migrant workers is in the works.
A special Saudi Arabian Airlines flight was arranged for them by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They landed a few minutes ahead of Duterte’s and his delegation’s plane at around 3 am.
“Masaya po. Nagpapasalamat kami kay Presidente na tinulungan niya kaming maka-uwi nang maayos,” Delos Santos said, smiling despite the drowsiness and fatigue from the 9-hour flight.
Her children, aged 2, 4, and 6, were sprawled on the arrival lounge seats, still unable to fully comprehend the momentousness of the occasion – the end of their 3 years being stranded in Saudi Arabia.