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PIA Press Release

PGMA gets warm welcome from OFWs in Hong Kong

Manila (29 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo received an enthusiastic welcome from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong after she attended holy mass at the Hong Kong Cathedral yesterday (Sunday).

Later in the afternoon, the President made dialogue with the OFWs, who have clamored for her to make a stopover in Hong Kong from her working visit to Japan and state visit to Brazil.

She also gave awards to outstanding OFWs who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields while in Hong Kong.

At noon today (Monday) she's scheduled to meet with the anti-graft consultant, Anthony Kwok to review the government's anti-corruption program with a view to strengthening the anti-graft campaign.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the President and her delegation will leave Hong Kong at 8 p.m. today and arrive in Manila before 10 p.m.

Secretary Remonde parried criticisms of the President's foreign travels, saying: "A good leader must do what needs to be done no matter how unpopular. Because good leadership means doing the right thing even if the leader has to pay a high price for it. Good leadership is not about being popular but being right.

He said "We are now living in a global village. Our President needs to be very active in the international scene to promote and protect the interest of the country. We need to remember that every time she goes abroad what she is doing is still for the Philippines and for our people back home."

Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Dr. Anthony Golez also said the President's trip to Japan, Brazil and now, Hong Kong have all been very fruitful and successful.

The President, he stressed, is bringing home billions of dollars of assistance to the country in the form of grants and investments. The President also had the opportunity to exchanges ideas with the leaders of the countries she visited, Golez added.

Golez pointed out that the benefits generated by the President's foreign trips far outweigh the expense. "We know that her trips are a big help to our country," he added.

For every peso spent on her trips is compensated a hundred-fold, even a thousand-fold in terms of benefits for the country, Golez said. (PIA) [top]

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