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POEA opposes PH-Russia labor pact

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Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Monday confirmed that a bilateral labor agreement was being finalized between the Philippines and Russia.

“Although pina-finalize pa namin kasi meron pang hindi nagkakaroon ng consensus,” Bello said in a media interview.

He said Russia wanted a government-to-government deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) but the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) was against it.

“So inaayos pa ‘yun. So ‘yung aming POEA administrator mauuna ng two days para ayusin ‘yung ating labor agreement. Our POEA administrator (Bernard Olalia) will go there two days earlier to discuss the labor agreement,” Bello said.

Bello assured that the agreement will be signed when President Rodrigo Duterte visits Russia next month.

He said Russia will be hiring household service and skilled workers.

The top labor official said interested Filipinos can apply once the labor agreement has been signed and the implementing rules and regulations have been issued by both countries.

Duterte is scheduled to visit Russia in the first week of October upon the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Malacañang, however, has yet to release the dates of the President’s second visit to Russia.

Duterte embarked on his first visit to Moscow in May 2017 but decided to cut short his trip after the Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City.

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