President Aquino underscores role of migrant workers at ASEAN Summit in Bali

November 16, 2011 1:12 am 

BALI, Indonesia, Nov. 15 — Citing the advocacies of President Benigno S. Aquino III for the Filipinos, a senior foreign affairs official said that the Aquino government has been stern on promoting programs and action plans for the protection and assurance of benefits of migrant workers considering that the country has highest number of laborers in foreign lands within the Southeast Asian region.

Ambassador Wilfrido Villacorta, Philippine Permanent Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Region (ASEAN), in an interview at the Courtyard Mariott Bali Nusa Dua Hotel, underscored here on Monday that the Philippines under the Aquino government is a role model for its neighboring countries and fellow members in the Asean, specifically on laws and regulations that concern migrant workers.

“Ang Pilipinas ay isa sa mga nagsusulong ng karapatan ng mga manggagawa sa ibang bansa… at isang modelo ang mga patakaran at mga batas ng Pilipinas tungo sa pangangalaga ng mga trabahador sa ibang bansa. Tinitingala tayo ng mga ibang bansang nagpapadala rin ng mga manggagawa sa ibang bansa tulad ng Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India ay tayo ay tinutularan sapagkat ang ating pamahalaan ay isa sa mga pinakamaunlad sa larangan na ito,” Villacorta said.

He said that the government has always been serious in pushing for the protection of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) that comprises at least 700 thousand in the Asian region alone.

“Dahil sa napakaraming Pilipino na nagtatrabaho sa buong mundo, at dito lamang sa Asya ay umaabot na sa 700 thousand ang mga ito… kailangang kailangan talagang protektahan ng ating pamahalaan ang mga nagtatrabahong ito sa ibang bansa at tumulong sa kanilang mga suliranain, sa kanilang pakikitungo sa pinaninilbihan nila,” Villacorta said.

Migrant workers protection is one of the various advocacies of President Aquino that will be discussed during his meetings with counterparts in the Asean.

The President will be arriving here on Thursday to attend the 19th Asean Summit and Related Summits 2011 at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, here.

Villacorta said that apart from economic stability and protection for the citizenry, the Asean also pursues fostering a caring and sharing community for the ten member-nations.

“Isa pa sa mga layunin ng Asean ay ang pagtatatag ng isang caring and sharing society sa buong Asean region sapagkat hindi lamang mahalaga ang kaunlaran sa kabuhayan kung di pati na rin ang kaligayahan at kaginhawahan ng mga tao sa lahat ng mga bansang nakapaloob dito,” Villacorta noted.

Also expected to attend during the annual event are leaders of the dialogue partners of the Asean led by United States President Barrack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, among others. (PNA)

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