Feature

Filipinos share why they want to stay in the UAE despite COVID-19; express confidence about the country’s recovery

Recently, the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has revealed that over 200,000 Overseas Filipino Workers prefer to stay in their host countries than to go back to the Philippines—with many of them wanting to weather the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as they feel hopeful that everything will soon get better.
Apparently, such is the case as well in the UAE. The Filipino community has shown their utmost confidence about the leaders and the government in an interview with The Filipino Times. Some of these OFWs believe—without a doubt—that the country will recover faster than any nation, and will mount a successful comeback that will make it stronger than it was before.
Check out why these OFWs prefer to stay in the country despite the threat of the pandemic, as well as their opinions about the UAE’s gradual reopening:
VOX POP: What can you say about the reopening of the UAE? Why do you prefer to stay in the UAE amid this global crisis?
 
Manuel D. Valeriano Jr., 27 years, Waiter, living in the UAE for 1 year

With the UAE reopening after its successful fight against COVID-19, I am sure that the country is now on its way to recovery. This is the reason I still wanted to stay despite this pandemic, because I know that whatever happens, this is still the land of opportunities—one that will be very helpful for me to sustain the needs of the family and somehow will give me a career growth. This country became my option to look for a new opportunity after working in a cruise ship because I was inspired by the turnout of the lives of my relatives here.
 
Michael Nasser Gregorio, 31 years old, Nurse, living in the UAE for 4 years

In the advent of global crisis, COVID-19 made me realize that this is not only a fight against the virus. There are more greater things to deal with like our faith in humanity and overall communal support. The initiatives of the UAE to fight COVID-19 has proven me that we are bigger than this infectious agent. Staying in this country, and seeing how it is gradually reopening and recovering, made me believe that if we just stay strong, keep our hopes high and fight together as a community—regardless of our diverse nationalities—we will be more powerful than the virus.
 
Ronnel Reyes, 45 years old, Operation Supervisor, living in the UAE for 13 years

I am excited about the UAE’s reopening because it only shows just how capable the government is in handling this crisis. For me, the country will absolutely recover because of the initiatives they implement to fight the COVID-19 and protect the people living here. I am going to stay here in the UAE and continue to work until the day of my retirement, because there’s no place like this country—especially in terms of safety and health.
Niña Michelle Rigor, 35 years old, living in the UAE for 6 years

The UAE has given me chance to have a better life. I am able to save up for my family’s future and live a more comfortable life, that’s why I like living in this country, and that’s why I still prefer to stay here. I know that the UAE will recover from COVID-19, and it’s reopening of operations is a resounding proof.
As of this day, the hospital I’m working at is a COVID-19-free facility. The UAE is doing a great job in fighting the disease, and as residents of this country, all we need to do is to follow the rules so we can recover fast.
Louise Conrado Marasigan, 28, Crisis Researcher, living in the UAE for 2 years

Ever since I learned that the UAE is gradually reopening businesses, offices, and commercial activities, I became even more hopeful that the country is now on its way to fast and successful recovery. Its disinfection campaign, mass testing, and innovative medical technological have made it victorious in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and have fully shown just how committed the government is in protecting every resident of the country—regardless of their nationality. I prefer to stay here than go back to the Philippines because honestly, even with the threat of the pandemic, I know in my heart that I will still get better opportunities here.
Kathleen Mendoza, 36 years old, Nurse, living in the UAE for 12 years

I fully support the decision of the UAE to reopen businesses because I understand that everybody has lost a lot during this pandemic. Workers need to earn to send money for their families back home—who I also believe have been surely affected by the crisis. I am also confident about this because it shows how the UAE is gradually recovering from the impact of the pandemic. They have the means, the funds, the capacity, the innovative medical facilities, and PPEs, to fight this disease and fully recover from its health and economic effects.
I want to stay in the UAE not only because of safe environment and low crime rate, the country also offers better opportunities and its government takes care of its people.
Jahmi Umali Custodio, 38 years old, Team Leader for a services company, living in the UAE for 9 years

It’s not possible to keep any country closed for a long time and it’s good to see that the UAE has reopened after taking all the safety measures in place by enforcing strict regulations.
The steps UAE has taken to support its residents, such as relaxing rental fees and providing free COVID-19 treatment to patients, and non-stop sanitation drives, also show their great concern for every resident. This is the reason I want to continue living here. Who would not to live in such a country?
I believe all these efforts by the UAE government will definitely not go to waste and the country will recover fast from the pandemic.

Staff Report

The Filipino Times is the chronicler of stories for, of and by Filipinos all over the world, reaching more than 236 countries in readership. Any interesting story to share? Email us at [email protected]

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