By Camille A. Aguinaldo
BAHRAIN is ready to receive more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) into their country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.
In his two-day official visit to the Persian Gulf State, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said he discussed the welfare of OFWs with Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa who expressed “his government’s readiness” to accommodate more Filipino workers.
“The Prime Minister informed us about a number of initiatives that Bahrain is taking to further protect the rights and promote the welfare of Filipinos and other expatriate workers,” Mr. Cayetano said in a statement.
“Prime Minister Khalifa told us that we have nothing to worry about as far as our workers are concerned and he even gave his personal assurance that his office will deal with any problem that may involve our kababayans (countrymen),” he added.
Around 60,000 OFWs reside in Bahrain, according to the Bahraini Prime Minister.
Mr. Cayetano also met with Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa to further strengthen bilateral relations on trade and investments as well as countering violent terrorism.
“The Crown Prince also expressed admiration for President (Rodrigo R.) Duterte’s strong and decisive action in fighting terrorism in Marawi,” he said.
He also discussed plans with his Bahraini counterpart Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa on the upcoming High Joint Commission Meeting between the two countries to be held in Manila.
Mr. Cayetano was accompanied by his wife, Taguig City Mayor Maria Laarni L. Cayetano, special envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council Amable R. Aguiluz V, Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso Ferdinand A. Ver, and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Middle East and Africa Affairs Hjayceelyn M. Quintana.