PH eyes Russia as destination for OFWs

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Yasay speaks to a Russian journalist

THE Department of Labor and Employment is looking at Russia as the next work destination for skilled Filipino workers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

Bello said President Duterte will discuss labor relations when he visits the socialist state and meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin early next year.

“I already sent a memo to the President requesting him to include the possible deployment of skilled and professional workers to Russia,” Bello said.

He also said that there is a demand for construction and household service workers in the Russian republic.

Bello said that because of the decline in oil price in the Middle East, there are fewer job opportunities in that part of the globe and Russia is a good alternative for skilled and professional workers who are looking for high paying jobs.

“We noticed that there is a decline in the demand for OFWs in the Middle East. We have to look for other countries where there are demands for our OFWs,” he added.

In 2014, there are about 4,000 OFWs in Russia who are working in construction, hotels, and households.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. spoke to Russia’s TASS News Agency about his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the planned visit of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to Russia in 2017.

In his interview with Mr. Evgeny Kolomeets, Secretary Yasay stressed the importance of laying the groundwork for President Duterte’s visit.

“Those preparations are important because we do not feel that the visit of our president should be merely ceremonial, that we would like to get into something more substantive within the view of fostering stronger and better ties with Russia, especially that this year we commemorate the 40th anniversary of our bilateral relationship,” he said.

“We have to work on this much stronger. Moreover, it comes in a timely initiative especially so that our president has reiterated and realigned our independent foreign policy where we really have to extend friendship and mutual understanding with all countries,” he added.

Yasay was in Moscow together with Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana who met with officials from the Ministry of Defense and the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation.

The two cabinet officials were instructed by President Duterte to visit Moscow after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Lima, Peru.

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