Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
“We appreciate the participation of Filipinos in our development.”
UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Hamad Saeed Obaid Al-Zaabi.
By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — EXPATRIATE Filipinos have embraced the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as their “second home.”
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Emirates are showing their gratitude to the Gulf country through a sticker campaign with the words “Filipinos trust the UAE.”
Spearheading the campaign is the “The Filipino Times,” the largest digital and newspaper platform catering to the Philippine community in the Emirates.
Vince Ang, general manager of The Filipino Times, noted the timeliness of the campaign, which is being done on Facebook as Filipinos are known to be the world’s top user of social media.
“International studies have pinpointed Filipinos as the most socially connected individuals worldwide, averaging around nine hours every day, half of which are spent on social media alone particularly on Facebook,” Ang emphasized through an article in the news platform titled “Filipinos trust the UAE”: Filipinos reciprocate confidence in UAE’s sincere care, compassion through Facebook profile sticker.
“This is why using something as simple as Facebook sticker sends an important and timely message of oneness of us Filipino residents at a place we have already acknowledged and loved as our second home.”
Asked for reaction by SDN — Science & Digital News, UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Hamad Saeed Obaid Al-Zaabi welcomed the gesture.
“We appreciate the participation of Filipinos in our development,” the Emirates top diplomat in Manila said.
Ambassador Al-Zaabi said at present there are around 850,000 Filipinos in his country.
The UAE last week sent via Etihad flight some seven tons of medical supplies to Manila for use of medical front-liners in the Philippines fight against the coronavirus.
Another recent assistance came during the recent eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas province that displaced hundreds of thousands of people. In 2013, the UAE also sent US$10 million of donation for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
Some of the Emirates’s assistance are through the Emirates Red Crescent Society, including assistance for the people of Marawi impacted by the Marawi siege.
Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana cited the Facebook sticker campaign honoring the Emirates and its leadership, and people.
“That’s our countrymen’s show of gratitude here in the UAE, because they see that this country is taking care of their well-being. There is no exception whether you are a citizen, (a national), or expatriate like us.
“And that is what the general expatriate population is seeing (from the Emirates government),” said Quintana said in Pilipino over an interview aired the other day on CNN Philippines by Secretary Martin Andanar and Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio.
Andanar and Ignacio asked the ambassador about the UAE’s stem cell experiment being used on Covid-19 patients, and the “Filipino trust the UAE” drive, among others.
Ambassador Quintana said there are 200 expatriate nationalities living in the UAE, and that only 10 percent Emiratis account for the total population.
“It is good that their government is able to show that they treat everyone equally, giving the necessary help to those falling sick from Covid-19,” she said.
Meanwhile, the top Filipino diplomat in the UAE noted the easing of restrictions in the Gulf country, with malls starting to open but with only 30 percent being allowed in.
“Even in the embassy we are normalizing our operations, about 70 percent is working.”
Ambassador Quintana said the embassy made clear to the Filipino community in the UAE they still need to be careful even though things are slowly getting normalized.
They should not forget to remain careful, she added.
“There should be no complacency. The protocols issued (by the UAE government) should still be observed.”
Currently, she said during the interview, 17 Filipinos died of Covid-19 in Dubai, and four in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.
She emphasized the figures were based on the notification of death received from the UAE authorities.
On the stem cell herapyt, Ambassador Quintana noted the good results from the therapy which is being done through inhalation and helps the lung’s cells regenerate and help to fight the coronavirus.
She the authorities clarified the stem cell therapy is only a supportive treatment and does not kill the novel coronavirus.
Ambassador Quintana said she reported this development to the Department of Health (DOH) in case the DOH wants to collaborate with the Emirates Ministry of Health (MOH).
“So, we are trying to connect the DOH with the MOH here in the UAE,” she added.
Ang said The Filipino Times has achieved twice its reach across all its online platforms given that Filipinos and other expatriates in the UAE are hungry for information about the Covid-19 pandemic.
The OFWs show their love and appreciation by using as profile the “Filipinos trust the UAE” campaign with the flags of the Philippines and Emirates in the sticker. (SDN)