PHL hopes to craft migration deal with France, says envoy

December 1, 2015 10:57 am 

PARIS, France, Nov. 30 — The Philippine government hopes to forge a migration agreement with the French government so that undocumented Filipinos could legalize their stay in France.

Although some undocumented Filipinos in France are in the process of legalizing their status, some remain as illegals, Philippine Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa Lazaro said in a recent interview.

"Some are not yet there but they are moving towards that," Ambassador Lazaro told Radio TV Malacañang.

"Maganda naman ang kalagayaan ng ating mga kababayan dito. And we've been monitoring them and hopefully, magkaroon tayo ng certain agreement in the coming year, probably next year, in terms of migration. And this is something na pinag-uusapan pa."

With regards to the present situation, Lazaro noted that there are still some concerns with the Filipino community in France.

But generally speaking, she said, Filipinos are well-protected and their employment is good and they are well-treated by the French people.

Lazaro also reported that there was no Filipino casualty in the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Filipinos mingle at home and not in crowded public areas, so no one was affected, she pointed out.

The Philippine Embassy, she said, has been advising Filipinos to stay away from public places if they have no important transactions to make, to remain safe.

The French government has also assured that heads of states attending the climate change conference will be safe, the Philippine envoy said, adding that security has been intensified in France, especially in Paris.

Since the attacks last November 13, French authorities have heightened security measures in and around Paris, she said.

"I'm very impressed with the French authorities," she said. “They are very, very thorough and even other European countries like Belgium."

More than 20,000 Filipinos are living in France, with the biggest number — about 10,000 to 12,000 – staying in Paris, and the rest in southern France.

President Benigno S. Aquino III is here for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (PNA)

RMA/PND/EDS

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