Filipino ambassador visits Bermuda
Some 1,300 Filipinos in Bermuda have been urged to make sure they are fully aware of their employment rights on the island.
Jason Hayward, the labour minister, said he had held meetings with officials from the Philippines to ensure the country’s citizens are protected in Bermuda.
Immigration and passport matters were also discussed, the minister said.
Mr Hayward told a press conference: “We talked about a number of issues in terms of ensuring that people use the proper avenues to remain in Bermuda.
“We discussed in terms of when issues arise, how they can make complaints to the Labour Department, and ensuring Filipino nationals understand our Employment Act, and they understand when their employer breaches the Employment Act, what is the recourse available to them.”
He added: “I did have a meeting with representatives from the Filipino embassy in both Ottawa and Washington DC.
“The embassy has a mission to Bermuda and they assist Filipino nationals with renewal of passports and things of that nature.
“We met to discuss immigration issues and other issues as it pertains to Filipinos in the work force.”
A statement from the the Filipino Association of Bermuda said the visiting team from the Philippine Embassy in Canada was led by Ambassador Rodolfo D. Robles.
The team held meetings with Filipino nationals focusing on the renewal of passports and contract verification for Filipinos on the island.
The ambassador thanked Bermuda for welcoming Filipino workers on the island and emphasised that the promotion of the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino workers is one of the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy, the statement said.
Also in attendance was Angela Librado-Trinidad, labour attaché at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Washington DC, who said that as part of its protection mechanism, the Philippine Government adopts policies and procedures on the deployment of Filipino workers abroad to ensure that foreign employers and principals are legitimate and that existing contracts of employment entered into by the overseas Filipino workers are consistent with laws of the Philippines and the host country or country of destination through accreditation and verification of contracts of employment.
According to the statement, both sides agreed to identify focal persons to facilitate communication and exploration of novel partnerships pertaining to labour and immigration matters.