The Duterte administration will prioritize OFW welfare and is open to hold bilateral talks with the Chinese government. This was being confirmed by lawyer Perfecto Yasay in a reported interview.
It was recently reported that Yasay was chosen by presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to head the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). As such, Yasay said on interview that the foreign policy that Duterte administration will implement is to follow the provision of the Constitution.
“Alam mo ang foreign policy natin Igan, naka-define yan sa Constitution, sa Saligang Batas at hindi tayo pwedeng mag-deviate dyan,” Yasay said. We are a free, sovereign and independent state. We carry on an independent national policy and renounce war as an instrument of national policy. Yan ang approach, broad parameters na ating Constitution na talagang kailangan natin ipatupad,” he added.
Also added by Yasay is that government will ask allies to respect the independence and sovereignty of the country. “Sa akin naman, when we carry out this foreign policy, there is one thing in mind that our government must pursue and that is the paramount national interest. That paramount interest cannot be subordinated or subservient to the interest of other nations,” he explained.
Above all things Duterte administration top priority will be the OFW welfare, the former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman said.
And in his interview, he described the Aquino administration’s response to the OFWs as lukewarm and inadequate.
“Ang intensyon ng ating magiging pangulo ay magkakaroon tayo ng immediate, prompt, effective response to these problems,” said Yasay, adding that a study is being made for the creation of a Department of Overseas Filipino Workers.
And with regards to the issue on West Philippine Sea, the incoming administration will wait for the outcome of the arbitration case filed by the previous administration. Thus, Yasay said they are hopeful that Chinese government will respect the outcome of the case.
“If there is an opportunity, itutuloy natin ang multi-lateral talks or bilateral talks. Ayaw naman natin ireresolba ang conflict na ito by means or through war,” he added.
And in case China will not respect the court decision and will engage in war, the government will expect the United States to abide by its treaties with the country, including the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA.
“But the Philippines will not even try to militarize itself to defend itself from China, because we feel that these matters should be resolved to the hilt, through negotiations,” he said.
The report of prioritizing OFW welfare got positive reactions on social media specially the OFW’s. Several of them already posted gratitude to the incoming President.