OFWs in Bahamas at risk of losing work

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Apr 24 2013 12:24 PM | Updated as of Apr 25 2013 07:30 PM

LOS ANGELES - The Philippine ambassador to the US is on a mission to keep overseas Filipino workers employed so that can continue sending money to the Philippines.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. met with the Filipino community in Los Angeles to talk about the country’s improving economy, but one challenge the ambassador is facing is in the Bahamas.

The local government is localizing its workforce, putting the jobs of some one thousand Filipinos, mostly housekeepers, cooks, hotel employees and medical workers, in jeopardy.

“We understand the policy objective of the Bahamas’ authorities to provide jobs to their own people and that’s a very legitimate reason for them to reduce the number of jobs for foreign workers,” said Cuisia.

The local Philippine consulate in the Bahamas has met with and made an appeal to local officials asking to allow Filipino immigrants to continue working. The ambassador is hoping for an outcome that can favor the Filipino residents.

“I think the good thing is they have expressed an appreciation for the hard working Filipinos. They appreciate Filipino workers very much,” he added.

On the mainland, Cuisia is also studying the recently proposed immigration reform bill which carries several proposals for guest workers programs, family petitions, and the legalization of undocumented immigrants. He’s looking to see how it could affect the estimated 4 million Filipinos in the US and their families back in the Philippines.