All things considered, Deo Miranda had it good in Europe. As a railway engineer in Denmark, Deo was able to provide for his family and, perhaps, even more. But, there was an unextinguished yearning in him to do something beyond filial duties.
The opportunity came to him, as things go these days, through social media.
A viral post on a cutter head prototype for the Metro Manila Subway Project caught his attention. With nary a prompting, Deo rallied several Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) working in infrastructure and encouraged them to seek a meeting with officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and offer their training and expertise to ongoing railway projects under the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build, Program.
On 04 July 2019, Miranda and his fellow OFWs met with DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and other transport officials at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga. At that very moment, Deo knew what he wanted: to lend his knowledge and skills in building his very own country’s mass transit systems, and at the same time, spend more time with his family in Antipolo City.
Yesterday, Deo embarked on his first day as Engineer IV for the LRT-2 East and LRT-2 West Project Teams.
A graduate of the Technological Institute of the Philippines, Deo began his overseas journey in 2006, serving multiple companies as an engineer in Saudi Arabia. He transferred to Denmark in 2015, where he served as M&E Construction Coordinator and M&E Lead Commissioning Engineer for the Copenhagen Metro Team I/S, assigned under the Copenhagen Cityringen Metro Project.
Yet here he is today, attending the DOTr Flag Raising Ceremony – joining the ranks of public servants. When asked what made him decide to return to work in the Philippines after so many years, his answer resonates the dreams and aspirations of the Duterte administration for the Filipino people. Deo said his family experienced firsthand the comfort of mass transport abroad especially in Europe, and he wants nothing more than for his countrymen to experience the same.
“We are here to support our current administration who has the vision and commitment to achieve the comfortable mass transport for Filipinos,” Deo said after receiving the call that confirmed his employment with government.
OFWs are indeed our new generation of heroes. They begin their journey with a simple vision: for their families to have a better life. And for the Duterte administration, these heroes deserve the choice to return home to spend as much time with those whom they love. This is a chance for their families to be together, while harnessing the opportunity to contribute to national development.
Secretary Tugade himself lauded Deo’s choice of giving back to country.
“Para sa akin, bayani ang mga OFWs. Bayani sila dahil sila ay nagsasakripisyo at nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa para maiahon ang kani-kanilang pamilya sa hirap. Ngunit talaga ring nakakaantig ng puso kung ang isang OFW, kahit sobrang laki ng kinikita sa ibang bansa, magdedesisyong bumalik at tumulong sa bayan at magsabing: Pilipinas naman,” Secretary Tugade expressed.
Filipinos like Deo have the flame of bayanihan burning so brightly in them. It is the proverbial fire in the belly, only that he wields it not only for self and family, but also for country.