PHL seeks labor pact with Haiti


The Philippines is seeking a bilateral labor agreement with Haiti to ensure that Filipinos working in the Caribbean nation would enjoy adequate protection.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. discussed the bilateral labor agreement when he presented his credentials to President Michael Joseph Martelly as Manila’s non-resident envoy to Haiti on March 14.

“The Philippine Government has a strong desire for a bilateral labor agreement to be concluded at the earliest possible time to enable more of our nationals to help in building Haiti’s economy under the protection of the law,” said Cuisia in his meeting with Martelly.

While in Haiti, Cuisia also met with leaders of the more than 350 Filipinos there, most of whom hold supervisory or managerial positions, and visited the headquarters of the 17th Philippine Contingent that is serving as the Force Headquarters Support Unit for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

The 157-strong unit made up of officers and sailors from the Philippine Navy is headed by Capt. Luzviminda Camacho, the first woman to command a national peacekeeping contingent.

In his remarks, Cuisia commended the Philippine Contingent for helping keep the peace in Haiti since it was first deployed there in 2005.

“The sacrifices of Filipino peacekeepers represent the enduring commitment of the Philippines to work with key actors to ensure peace and stability in the international community,” he added.

Four Filipino peacekeepers have already lost their lives while serving in Haiti. The first, Sgt. Antonio Batomalaque of the 1st Philippine Contingent, was killed in a gunbattle with gang members in 2005, while three members of the 10th Philippine Contingent died in the earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince in 2010. — Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News


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