The Philippine labor market in Europe continues to expand as Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Romanian Embassy Chargè d’Affaires Mihail B. Sion sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to hire more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for Romania.
The signing ceremony between the Department of Labor and Employment and Romanian Ministry of Labor and Social Protection held last week is part of this year’s Migrant Workers’ Day celebration.
In his statement during the signing ceremony, Bello said that the MOU signing will significantly improve labor relations between the Philippines and Romania.
“Today’s MOU signing also manifests our governments’ common commitment to further strengthen our existing bilateral relations, particularly in the area of labor, employment, and social protection,” the labor secretary furthered.
The bilateral agreement may also help ease the rampant unemployment experienced by OFWs due to the coronavirus disease pandemic, according to the Romanian ambassador.
“Romania is a good opportunity for Filipinos to potentially work as hospital caregivers and skilled workers,” H.E. Ambassador Sion pointed out, further emphasizing that the country has a competitive labor market as several Asian migrants from countries, such as Viet Nam, Nepal, and India, come to Romania for work.
Currently, there are only about 1,500 OFWs in Romania, mostly employed in health and safety and transportation companies, which only contributes to about 20 percent of the country’s total foreign workforce.
The Romanian ambassador also assured that Romania can be a safe, good, and decent work environment for Pinoy workers.
“This MOU is a framework and a starting point for both the Filipino and Romanian governments to work together to ensure that Filipino workers are protected in Romania,” he stated.
Apart from creating more job opportunities for OFWs wishing to work in Romania, Bello hopes that the bilateral agreement will also foster the exchange of expertise, good practices, and information between the two countries, particularly in the areas of labor and employment relations; social security and protection; labor migration; and occupational safety; among others.
Romania is the 7th European country to forge a bilateral labor agreement with the Philippines, following United Kingdom, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain.