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Pinoy Abroad

Philippines to deploy more labor attaches to Europe —Ople

Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople announced plans to field more labor attaches in Europe to address the needs of overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs).

“Next year, may budget na tayo. Makakatulong na kami nang husto sa inyo, magdadagdag kami ng mga office ng labor attaches natin,” Ople told the Filipino community in Brussels, Belgium during a meeting that was also attended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“So pag-aaralan namin sa Europe kung saan kami pwede magdagdag. Pinagtitibay namin ngayon yung mga agreements,” she said in a "24 Oras" report by Ivan Mayrina.

Marcos is in Belgium to participate in the  Commemorative Summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union.

“With our new socioeconomic agenda, we will strengthen our economic institution and create more jobs that are both sustainable and in line with labor standards worldwide,” Marcos said during his speech with the Filipino community.

"We will provide more equal and sustained access to local markets so that those who wish to engage in business will be amply supported,” he said.

“One day you will no longer be driven by the lack of opportunities in choosing to go abroad. Ang sinasabi namin na ang pagpunta ng Pilipino mag-abroad para magtrabaho ay hindi dahil napilitan,” he added.

The President earlier said he is also looking to pursue a strategic partnership with Belgium as he would raise the country's intention in a royal audience with King Philippe.

“It will also be an opportunity to convey to the King that the Philippines intends to pursue a strategic partnership with Belgium in various fields,” Marcos had said.

“We look forward to signing a Philippines-Belgium joint plan of action for 2023 to 27 that could further enhance bilateral cooperation and allow our two countries to discuss regional and global issues of mutual concern,” he added.

Based on a Facebook post of Radio TV Malacanang on Tuesday, the President had also met with International Maritime Employers Council (IMEC) chief executive officer (CEO) Francisco Gargiulo and several business executives and leaders of European shipping companies and shipowners association.

“I thank you once again for your continuing interest with the Philippines and I know I can feel very much the support,” he said.

The IMEC operates its offices in the Philippines and United Kingdom, representing 250 shipping companies worldwide.

It currently has an estimated 300,000 seafarers in employment and more than 12,000 shipping vessels registered from 60 different countries.

Marcos is also set to hold bilateral meetings with leaders from Belgium, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and the European Union.—Richa Noriega/LDF, GMA Integrated News