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President Bongbong Marcos Jr.’s Dubai Visit: Expectations and Agendas

President Bongbong Marcos is set to arrive in Dubai for the dual aim of attending COP28 and meeting with the large Filipino community.

Philippine President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. is scheduled to arrive in Dubai on November 29 for the dual purpose of attending COP28 and engaging with the substantial Filipino community there. 

This visit marks a significant event, the first instance in 14 years that a Philippine president will personally interact with his kabayans (countrymen) in the UAE.

Community Expectations and Concerns:

While President Marcos is anticipated to actively participate in the UN Climate Summit, the Filipino community in Dubai is eager to hear about environmental policies and seek clarity on crucial domestic issues. 

Rex Bacarra, a respected university professor and long-time expatriate, highlights Filipinos’ pressing economic challenges and emphasizes the need for sustainable solutions for a more economically resilient Philippines.

Economic Concerns and Environmental Stance:

The community’s concerns extend beyond economic issues, encompassing inquiries about the government’s stance on critical topics such as mining, decarbonization, and the transition to clean energy. 

This multifaceted approach indicates a desire for comprehensive solutions to both financial and environmental challenges.

Filipino Community’s Expectations During the Visit:

Community leaders, entrepreneurs, and residents reflect the collective sentiments of over 600,000 Filipino expatriates. 

Their agenda for the meeting with President Marcos includes discussions on economic stability, consular services, immigration procedures for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and ensuring the rights and welfare of Filipinos abroad.

Key Concerns and Demands:

Josie Conlu, a prominent community leader, emphasizes the need for streamlined immigration procedures while safeguarding the rights and welfare of Filipino workers. 

Additionally, long-time resident Joyce Villalino-Alexander stresses the necessity for consistent consular services to alleviate the challenges OFWs face.

Rights, Welfare, and Migrant Advocacy:

Migrante Middle East, an organization advocating for migrants’ rights and welfare, raises concerns about sustainable job creation in the Philippines. 

They underscore the importance of addressing employment challenges to reduce the dependency on overseas work and advocate for enhanced welfare support and action against unfair labor practices and human trafficking.

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