SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to Russia has been fruitful so far, with the government’s campaign against terrorism earning praises from his Russian counterparts who, according to the senator, are also willing to support.
“Naging maayos naman ang pagbisita ng Pangulo. First day sa pagbisita sa Russia, nagpasalamat ang ating gobyerno. Nais din ng Pangulo na paigtingin pa ang ating relasyon sa bansang Russia, lalo na po (ang) laban sa terorismo. Alam niyo naman tuluy tuloy ang terorismo sa ating bansa. Very much willing na tumulong ang Russia,” said Go.
He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated President Duterte in his fight against terrorism, saying, “Nag-congratulate naman si President Putin kay Pangulong Duterte sa laban natin kontra terorismo sa Pilipinas to lower level of terrorist threat. ‘Yun po ang unang unang nabanggit ni Presidente. Full support ang Russia sa ating bansa.”
With the security relations between the Philippines and Russia strengthened, Go said that he hopes this spills over to the economic sector through groundbreaking business deals signed between Filipino and Russian companies which can generate economic opportunities for Filipinos.
“Umaasa po kami na maraming business opportunities ang maiuwi ng Pangulo para sa mas maraming trabaho para sa mga Pilipino sa bansa,” the senator said.
In the recent visit, Filipino business executives and their Russian counterparts signed several trade agreements worth US$12.6 million. The scope of these deals range from business cooperation, agricultural exports, electric power and importation.
These include five memorandums of understanding that would enforce cooperation on information exchange and collaboration on business development to promote trade and investment between the two countries, and supply local tuna to four companies to serve the Russian market.
Also included in the deals are two memorandums of intent that would explore the possibilities of cooperation in building nuclear power plants in the Philippines.
On Russia’s part of the deal, both countries signed a distributorship agreement for two Russian companies to sell watches and vehicles in the Philippines. A memorandum of agreement was also signed to promote, distribute and sell Russian technology in the Philippines.
The signings, which was done during the Philippines-Russia business forum in Moscow, were described as the beginning of stronger business ties between Russia and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Go also said that he and the President will meet with the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Russia to check on their situation.
“Gusto rin pong bisitahin ng ating mahal na Pangulo ang ating mga kababayan dito sa Russia. Ako naman nais kong isulong ang Department of OFWs para sa ating mga kababayan para may tumututok sa kanilang mga pangangailangan,” Go said who earlier filed Senate Bill No. 202, or the “Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019” last July to put government agencies dealing with the OFW concerns under one executive department.
Because services and information relative to the OFWs are scattered throughout several government offices, the proposed measure aims to streamline service delivery and promote better coordination among offices concerned with OFW affairs through a unified department solely focused on OFW concerns.
“Hindi nababayaran yung lungkot. Mahirap mapalayo sa pamilya. Pero kailangan nilang maghanapbuhay at kumita. Nais lang namin na mag-iwan ng ngiti kahit papaano sa kanila,” Go said about OFWs.
“Tutulong po tayo na maibsan nila ang kalungkutang ito sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng dekalidad na serbisyo sa kanila,” he added.