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'Build, Build, Build' jobs await returning OFWs from Kuwait



Jobs here at home await returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Kuwait, particularly those employed in construction, with the government’s Build, Build, Build Program, the chief of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said during Wednesday’s “Breakfast with Ben”, a regular press event of the official, the country needs “more warm bodies” as the government embarks on its largest infrastructure program. “We need more warm bodies given our Build, Build, Build Program. We need more welders, we need more electricians, we need more engineers,” said Diokno.

The Duterte administration expects to spend some PHP8 trillion to PHP9 trillion for some 75 flagship projects under the Build, Build, Build Program before its term expires in 2022.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to OFWs in Kuwait to return to the Philippines amid the tensions between the governments of the two nations.

In a television interview Monday, Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras said some 60,000 OFWs from Kuwait may return to the country, heeding the President’s statement.

Diokno said the government “can afford” the transportation expenses for OFWs who are ready to come back to the Philippines. “We can afford it. If they want to come back, we will provide the transportation, if they want to come back,” the DBM chief said.

“When you talk about OFWs, you have to consider the social cost of being deployed abroad,” added Diokno, citing the disadvantages of being away from the family and the risks of harassment in other countries.

Kris Crismundo / PNA