Editorial: Tapang at Malasakit with OFWs

OVER the weekend, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio with youngest brother Sebastian attended the launching of Tapang at Malasakit Alliance for the Philippines in Hong Kong and Macau, primarily to thank the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who were keys to the victory of President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2015 elections despite a major handicap in campaign finances.

As Duterte-Carpio said, while her father, the President would have wanted to thank them personally, this is now impossible as gargantuan tasks are demanding his attention, thus they took it upon themselves to thank the OFWs.

The mayor acknowledged that the volunteerism spurred on during the campaign recently resulted to fighting among the separate and disparate groups, and this is because it took time for them to settle down to work and finally gather the volunteers anew to recognize them and harness their power to assist the government and participate in true nation-building.

At the same time, Tapang at Malasakit sought to unite the forces of the OFWs and consolidate their abilities to extend help especially when disaster strikes the country.

While the opposition only sees this as a political move for future campaigns, we cannot help but appreciate the warm welcome OFWs are giving and understand why they came in droves to cheer their leaders on.

For the very first time in their lives as overseas workers, they have been truly recognized as the economic and political force that they really are. We cannot blame them if their support for the President has made them rabid supporters, some even looking down at them as rabid and blind supporters.

But put yourself in their shoes... they've been looked down on for decades. The consular and embassy officers have regarded them as inconveniences and were made to wallow in their misery instead of being assisted. They were praised only when necessary, and they were helped only when it fits the politician's agenda. We cannot blame them, when they cheer to the point of singing Alleluia when they are welcomed and their sacrifices recognized.

Having established this rapport with the OFWs that has benefitted not only the President but most especially the OFWs, the least that the opposition can do is recognize where they went wrong in disregarding the power of the OFWs and do something to finally admit that these overseas workers are real partners in nation-building through extending real, honest, committed and fast assistance for OFWs in distress. That's the only way the opposition can turn the tide.

After all, the so-called Dutertards wouldn't have come into being had they been attended to all these years.
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