By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered quicker airport transactions for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), whose welfare and protection remains his government’s priority.
“[N]o more inspection sa bagahe papasok. Magdala kayong dinamita, bala, marijuana, cocaine, okay lang. Walang bukas na ‘yan. Pero pagdating mo sa labas doon naghintay ‘yung PDEA pati pulis. So pero I made it a point kasi gusto ko lang na no more opening of the bags at ngayon po wala na ‘yung human contact sa Immigration,” said Duterte his speech at the 85th anniversary of the Department of Labor and Employment on Thursday.
The President said that passengers will only have to swipe their passports to enter the country.
“All you have to do is to i-slide mo ‘yang may ano diyan. You just swipe your passport and then you can go out. No more question sa Immigration. At ‘yung pagbalik palabas, I am requiring them altogether to adopt the same sister — same system rather — paglabas ninyo, swipe lang ninyo. No more human questions,” according to him.
In November, the Bureau of Immigration announced that a total of 18 electronic gates have been opened in the international airports of Manila, Cebu, and Davao, exempting OFWs from waiting at long queues at immigration counters.
“And that is why you can see my reaction every time. Ayaw ko kasi ng api-api whether rich or poor. I just don’t want oppression. Hindi ko talaga ano ‘yan. Ayan tanungin mo ‘yang dalawa o. Basta ‘yang oppression na… Hindi ko kayang tanggapin ‘yan lalo na in my presence. Ayaw ko, walang rason, basta ayaw ko lang. Ayaw kong oppression ng tao,” said Duterte.
“So over the years, the department and the various agencies under its supervision have continued to champion the interest of the Filipino people here and abroad. Its many accomplishments throughout the decades are truly worthy of praise and recognition,” he added.