Presidential Assistant for Foreign Affairs (PAFA) Robert E.A. Borje, special envoy of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, arrived on Monday in Manama for an official visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain until Dec. 31.
Joining him were Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Arriola and Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary for Global Media and Public Affairs JV Arcena.
Assistant Foreign Minister Abdulla bin Faisal bin Jabur Al Doseri welcomed the Philippine delegation at the Bahrain International Airport.
Also present was Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso A. Ver.
Borje and the Assistant Foreign Minister reaffirmed the special ties between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Bahrain during their meeting at airport.
Borje expressed President Duterte’s warm wishes for His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the gratitude of the Filipino nation for His Majesty the King’s personal care and concern for the welfare and well-being of the 50,000 overseas Filipinos living and working in the country, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
He also conveyed Duterte’s recognition of and respect for the King and the Bahraini government’s leadership and contributions to regional and global efforts to uphold the rights of migrant workers.
According to him, the President values the “partnership of brothers” between the Philippines and Bahrain which “continues to transform the lives of many.”
Meanwhile, the Assistant Foreign Minister recognized the role of Filipinos in Bahrain and noted that bilateral partnership in this mutually important area would continue.
Borje welcomed Bahrain’s many groundbreaking labor reform efforts to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers, including through the Flexi Visa System which allows a pathway to regular immigration status without an employer sponsor.
The two officials also reaffirmed the importance of further broadening and deepening Philippines-Bahrain cooperation, particularly in areas of mutual interest such as trade and investment, education, ICT, agriculture, and public health, including the diagnostics, management, and treatment of COVID-19.
Throughout the visit, the Philippine delegation will participate in a series of intergovernmental meetings with officials of the Kingdom and undertake Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) and repatriation programs.
Kalinga at Malasakit for overseas Filipino workers remains a focus area under the Duterte administration.
This is Borje’s second designation as Special Envoy to the Kingdom of Bahrain. President Duterte appointed Borje as special envoy to Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia in 2019. PNA.GOV.PH/PR