More than a hundred Filipino temporary foreign workers (TFWs) attended the one-day TFW assembly in Calgary.
Philippine Consul General Zaldy Patron said they teamed up with other agencies so TFWs in Alberta will become more aware of their rights and responsibilities while in Canada.
"Ito po ay joint project ng Philippine Consulate General in Calgary with the Philippine Overseas Labour Office sa Vancouver, Overseas Workers Welfare Office sa Vancouver, at saka po ng Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and Catholic Social Services," Patron noted.
The assembly covered consular, labor, and welfare services, as well as benefits and community support for TFWs. It also tackled the rules on Alberta’s employment standard, labour exploitaton, and human trafficking.
Nerani Basar hoped to learn about his rights as a TFW after his application for permanent residence to Canada was rejected due to alleged negligence of the unauthorized agent he hired to process his application.
"Naloko po kami ng consultant. Gusto ko lang malaman yung legal rights namin, yung status namin. We're like almost ten years but we're still not permanent resident here [in Canada]," Basar said.
(We were fooled by our consultant. I just want to know our legal rights and status.)
Basar shared he was not aware that the ghost consultant he hired allegedly used someone else's license, then abandoned his PR application and stopped communicating with him.
Basar had no choice but to hire a new immigration lawyer to submit a new application. It is still in process.
With over a million backlog of applications before Immigration Canada, Basar is frustrated that it will take time before he gets a valid status. He said going back to the Philippines is not an option.
To address individual concerns and specific needs, the assembly provided a one-on-one free legal clinic with lawyers, with booths set up by the Alberta TFW advisory office and various Philippine agencies.