Philippines, Russia agree to craft labor deal for OFWs

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2019 09:11 AM

MOSCOW, Russia--The Philippines and Russia have agreed to craft a bilateral labor agreement, the Philippine Embassy here confirmed Sunday. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the need for a labor agreement with the Philippines to address the needs and concerns of Filipino migrant workers, Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta said.

“Napag-usapan po ang bilateral labor agreement. Very passionate, very committed po nung ni-raise ni President [Duterte] po ang isyu na ito kay President Putin. At ang sabi nga ni President Putin, kailangan nga magkaroon ng bilateral labor agreement,” Sorreta told the Filipino community in Russia.

(The bilateral labor agreement was discussed. President Duterte was very passionate and very committed when he raised the issue with President Putin. And President Putin agreed that there needs to be a bilateral labor agreement.)

Sorreta earlier said that most Filipinos who work in Russia as nanies or household workers do not have visas since there are only about 100 visas available to Filipinos for household service employment.

"The rest do not have this visa to work here. But they work here. They are doing very well. We have not had a case of an employer physically hurting their Filipino employee," Sorreta said.

The Philippine envoy noted that there has been a wave of Filipinos coming to work in Russia but are having trouble securing work visas since most of them seek employment as nannies.

Sorreta promised Filipinos in Russia that the Philippine government would work harder to fast-track the labor deal.

"Together with the other concerned agencies of the Philippine government, lalo naming dodoblehin ang aming efforts para sa inyo ho, para magkaroon ng bilateral labor agreement,” he told Filipinos.

(We would double our efforts for you so that we can have a labor agreement.)