Baldoz, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Dialogue, offers stronger cooperation on labor migration with Sri Lankan Labor Minister Perera, Chairman of Colombo Process

Date Posted: January 6th, 2014 06:40 AM

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD), yesterday met with Sri Lanka Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Bodiyabadigue Dilan Priyanjan Anslem Perera, Chairman of the Colombo Process, at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros, Manila, and discussed areas of mutual concern between the member-countries of the ADD and the Colombo Process. Minister Perera is in the country on an official visit, accompanied by Nissanka Naomal Wijerratne, Mahalingan Somasundran, Nanayakkara Kanaka Nishani Abeygunawardana, all of the Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, and Manisha Gunasekera, Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva. "We welcome Minister Perera to the Philippines as the DOLE's first dignitary-visitor for the new year. As Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, we attach great importance to his visit and hopes this will pave the way for greater cooperation on labor migration between the ADD and the Colombo Process," said Baldoz, adding: "I am very glad to note that a partner in pushing for migration and development agenda is our first visitor in 2014." Baldoz said Sri Lanka and the Philippines stand on a common ground with respect to issues in migration and development which serves as a reason why both countries need to build a stronger bilateral relationship. "While we are both developing our human resources toward positively contributing to economic and social development in our respective countries through employment in the global labor market, I appreciate that Sri Lanka is also a place of employment for some Filipino workers," Baldoz said. There are 438 Filipinos--35 percent of whom are professionals; 5 percent are in administrative and managerial positions; and 25 percent agricultural workers-- in Sri Lanka, based on the 2012 DFA Report to Congress. She noted that the thrust of the Colombo Process under Minister Perera match very well the focused projects of the ADD under the chairmanship of the Philippines. Under the Chairmanship of Sri Lanka, Baldoz said the Colombo Process is focused on the following areas: (1) review of the international qualifications recognition process; (2) promote cheaper, faster, and safer transfer of remittances; (3) foster ethical labor recruitment practices; (4) effective pre-departure orientation and empowerment; and (5) promote a standard employment contract. The Colombo Process is a conglomeration of eleven participating states--Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam--whose aim is to provide a forum for labor-sending countries to share experiences, lessons, and best practices on overseas employment, consult on issues faced by overseas workers and labor-receiving and labor-sending states, and propose practical solutions for those problems, and optimize development benefits from organized overseas employment and enhance dialogue with countries of destination. On the other hand, the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, brings together the members of the Colombo Process with the Gulf Cooperation Council states, plus Yemen and two additional countries of destination, Malaysia and Singapore, in a forum for the discussion of new ideas and concrete activities towards the development of a comprehensive and practical framework for the effective management of labor migration in Asia. "The practical focus of the ADD is on promoting the welfare and well-being of workers, on the development of both origin and destination countries through labor mobility, and on fostering greater inter-governmental cooperation and collaboration, with the active support of international and regional partners," explained Baldoz. While in Manila, Minister Perera and party will discuss with the officials of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Professional Regulation Commission, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority four areas of Sri Lankan interest. These are (1) pre-departure orientation; (2) process of worker qualification recognition; (3) comprehensive information and orientation program; and (4) promoting ethical recruitment standards. Undersecretary Danilo Cruz, POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, Dr. Jose Cueto, Chairman of the PRC's Board of Medicine, and TESDA Deputy Director General Irene Isaac, POEA Deputy Administrator Liberty Casco, OWWA Deputy Administrator Josefino Torres, and Director Rodolfo Sabulao of the DOLE's International Labor Affairs Bureau, joined Baldoz in the meeting with the Sri Lankan delegation. END

Created Aug 18th 2014, 15:16


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