PGMA pays tribute to Pinoys in UK

September 20, 2009 11:20 am 

LONDON, Sept. 20 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Saturday paid tribute to members of the Filipino community here, saying they have made the nation proud with their hard work and dedication which have not gone unnoticed even by their host country.

“Saan man kayo naglilingkod, humahanga ang United Kingdom sa inyong dedikasyon, talino at kakayahan (Wherever you may be working, the United Kingdom is cognizant of your dedication, ingenuity, and capabilities),” the President said during a brunch meeting with members of the Filipino community at the Intercontinental Park Lane hotel.

Earlier, the Chief Executive attended the two-day Emerging Markets Summit hosted by news magazine “The Economist” at the Riverbank Plaza hotel. She delivered a keynote address at the close of the forum Friday.

In her speech before representatives of the over 250,000 Filipino migrant workers in this city, the President said she feels elated by the recent recognition of Filipino migrant worker Natividad de la Cruz as “Caregiver of the Year” by the United Kingdom’s Amazing Awards.

The 39-year-old De la Cruz is a midwife from Cagayan de Oro City who came to London five years ago to work as a caregiver in a nursing home for the elderly. De la Cruz said she has come to love her job, which has allowed her to support her family back home.

“Nagulat pa nga ako nang ako ang mapili,” she said of the prestigious award, the first by a Filipino. “I feel very honored and proud as a Filipino. Natural lang naman kasi sa atin ang pagiging masipag.”

During her speech, the President congratulated 36 members of the Filipino community here who just completed their basic computer course, a joint project of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration OWWA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) that aims to enhance the basic skills of overseas Filipino workers.

She also cited Filipinos in the United Kingdom who have bonded together to form an association called Philippine Generations. The group, she said, is made up of Filipino–Britons who call themselves Britnoys.

“So you see, the dedication of Filipinos in the UK cuts across generations. We’re glad they’re discovering their Filipino roots and are active in promoting the Philippines,” the President beamed.

She said De la Cruz’s recognition as “Caregiver of the Year” comes on the heels of a similar recognition given by the United Kingdom to the Philippines as “Outsourcing Destination of the Year” last year.

“So hindi lang ang bansa natin ang nabibigyan ng award. Nakikita rin ang galing nating mga Pilipino. Sa inyo dito sa UK, kayo ang ambassador ng Pilipinas at ng ating bansa. Dala ko ang pasasalamat ng ating mga kababayan sa inyo. Mabuhay ang Pilipino (It’s not only our country that is recognized. Even you as workers are earning awards, a testament to the skill of the Filipino. I bring with me the gratitude of the nation), she said. (PNA)

scs/OPS/rsm

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