The Filipino community in Doha is all set to welcome Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in his three-day state visit to Qatar from Friday.
The President, who is expected to arrive from Bahrain, will speak to some 6,000 Filipino expatriates at a community gathering, scheduled to take place at the Lusail Sports Arena on Saturday at 6pm.
He is also expected to attend a meeting of Philippine trade delegation and Qatari businessmen tomorrow, hosted by Qatar Chamber.
Duterte, who visited Saudi Arabia before reaching Bahrain, will meet with HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Sunday.
A number of memoranda of understanding on co-operation in the field of health, culture, and technical – vocational education and training are scheduled to be signed on the same day.
While a large number of Filipinos want to see and meet the President in person, some expatriates also hope to have an open forum for them to ask questions and raise a number of concerns.
In her post on Facebook, a Filipino expatriate said Duterte’s visit is timely and a good opportunity for expatriates like her to voice their grievances as members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
She finds the fees and charges for stamping and authentication of various documents such as marriage certificate, diploma, and school credential, among others, 'costly.'
A final briefing for members of the Filipino community and around 200 crowd control volunteers was held yesterday at the Philippine mission. It is learnt that organisers are anticipating a surge in the number of attendees besides the 6,000 people who registered online for the event.
Meanwhile, Filipinos who passed by the Corniche yesterday were delighted to see the Philippine and Qatar flags hoisted together along the stretch of the road.
“I'm a proud Filipino because we have a President has love for our country. I wish him good health and a long life,” a community member said on Facebook, as he urged Filipinos around the world to unite and support Duterte.