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19/03/2014: PHILIPPINES SEEKS LABOR AGREEMENT WITH HAITI

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-013-2014

18 March 2014

WASHINGTON D.C.—The Philippines is seeking a bilateral labor agreement with Haiti to ensure that Filipinos working in the Caribbean nation would enjoy adequate protection.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. discussed the bilateral labor agreement when he presented his credentials to President Michael Joseph Martelly as Manila’s non-resident envoy to Port-au-Prince on 14 March 2014.

The Philippine Government has a strong desire for a bilateral labor agreement to be concluded at the earliest possible time to enable more of our nationals to help in building Haiti's economy under the protection of the law,” Ambassador Cuisia said in his meetings with President Martelly and Foreign Minister Pierre-Richard Casimir.

Ambassador Cuisia later met with leaders of the more than 350 Filipinos in Haiti, most of who hold supervisory or managerial positions He assured them that the Philippine Government is working on concluding a bilateral agreement that will provide them with labor protection.

Ambassador Cuisia also visited the headquarters of the 17th Philippine Contingent to Haiti which is serving as the Force Headquarters Support Unit for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

The 157-strong unit made up of officers and sailors from the Philippine Navy is headed by Capt. Luzviminda Camacho, the first female to command a national peacekeeping contingent.

In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia commended the Philippine Contingent for helping keep the peace in Haiti since it was first deployed there in 2005. I am proud of the work that you have done,” he said.

“The sacrifices of Filipino peacekeepers represent the enduring commitment of the Philippines to work with key actors to ensure peace and stability in the international community,” Ambassador Cuisia added.

Four Filipino peacekeepers have lost their lives while serving in Haiti. The first, Sgt. Antonio Batomalaque of the 1st Philippine Contingent was killed in a gun battle with gang members in 2005 while three members of the 10th Philippine Contingent died in the earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince in 2010. ###

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-031-2014

18 March 2014

Bilateral Labor Agreement. H.E. President Michel Joseph Martelly and Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., talk about the desire of Haiti for more commercial missions and educational cooperation with universities.  mbassdaor Cuisia had commended the Haitian government for the progress achieved so far in growing the economy, sought their cooperation in addressing the impact of climate change, raised the possibility of concluding the Bilateral Labor Agreement proposed in February 2012.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-032-2014
18 March 2014

Philippines and Haiti. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Foreign Minister Pierre-Richard Casimir talk about similarities between the Philippines and Haiti, such as the big political events that took place in both countries in February 1986, the environmental disasters experienced as a result of climate change and the strong reliance of their economies on worker remittances.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-033-2014
18 March 2014

Arrival honors. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisa, Jr. receives arrival honors from the Philippine Contingent to the UN Mission in Haiti upon his arrival in Port-au-Prince on 12 March 2014. Standing on the platform to his left is Captain Luzviminda Camacho, Commander of the 17th Philippine Contingent to Haiti (PCH) and the first woman appointed to command a post in a UN peacekeeping mission. The 17th Contingent, which is  composed of 157 military officers and personnel, come from the Philippine Navy and arrived in Haiti in November 2013.