01 December 2011

Bagong Bayani awardees


President Benigno S. Aquino III Thursday hailed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for their contributions to the country as he led the awarding of the 2011 Bagong Bayani awardees in MalacaƱang.
“Palatandaan na malapit na dumating ang Pasko ay ang pag-uwi ng mga OFWs nitong Disyembre [One indication that Christmas is near is the homecoming of our OFWs this December],” he said in his speech.
Aquino lauded the OFWs’ sacrifices for their families, saying: “Pinapalaya ninyo ang bansa sa pagkakagapos nito sa kahirapan [You are freeing the country from being bound by poverty).”
He said he is optimistic that in the future, Filipinos would no longer go abroad to work.
Aquino said his administration continues to address the welfare of OFWs, noting efforts of the government to repatriate Filipino workers from countries in political turmoil or heavily affected by natural disasters such as Japan in March.
He also said the government continues to assist OFWs who plan to put up their own businesses, saying that it will create additional jobs in the country.
“Isa sa talagang naging pagsubok sa atin itong kaguluhan sa Middle East at talaga naman pong may dinatnan tayong maraming kakulangan, damang-dama ko po ang dagdag na panganib kaya naman po minabuti natin na talagang pag-ayusin ang serbisyo sa tulong ng ating mga ahensya sa
pangunguna ng DoLE at saka ng DFA (One of the biggest challenge was the turmoil in the Middle East and we had really encountered lapses and I myself had felt the danger it could bring to our fellowmen that is why I made sure that government agencies would improve their services, led by the DoLE and the DFA],” he said.
Aquino said OFWs can be assured of government assistance, noting that he has tasked ambassadors and consular officials to take care of the OFWs.
Among this year’s 2011 Bagong Bayani awardees for Outstanding Employees include 14 Filipino crew of MT Diamond Champ and 19 Filipino crew of MT Nichihiko for risking their lives during the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March, and 20 Filipino crew of MV South Islander, who rescued 27 crew members of fishing vessel Daichi Shoei Maru No. 1, which was engulfed by fire in the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 2011; Capt. Autonomo Amano, Marcos Antonio Torres for carrying the Olympic torch in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Analiza Liezl Amurao who was conferred the Teacher of the Year award in a university in Thailand, and Josefina Omalsa, a chief nurse in Saudi Arabia.
Bagong Bayani awardees for culture and the arts, meanwhile, include Rosalito Nebre, who is the 2010 Manager of the Year of the Summit Park View Hotel in Myanmar and Elmer Dumlao, who designed advertisements for Royal Jordanian Airlines.
Bagong Bayani Awardees for Community and Social Service include Dr. Celerino Umandap of Kuwait, Dr. Eduardo Malagapo of Saudi Arabia, Marilyn Kasimieh of United Arab Emirates, Frank Jamandre of Saudi Arabia, Irma Tobias of Italy, and caregivers in Fukushima, Japan, namely Mercedes Joie Aquino, Sandra Otacan, Gemma Juanay, and Juliet Tobay.
By MADEL R. SABATER
mb.com.ph

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