Berlin, 19 March 2013 – At the sidelines of the signing of the government-to-government agreement that will facilitate the placement of Filipino health care professionals in employment positions in Germany on 19 March 2013 witnessed by German Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Ursula von der Leyen and Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Ambassador Maria Cleofe R. Natividad reported on the preparations undertaken for the implementation of the Agreement.
The Agreement was signed by Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Ms. Monika Varnhagen of the German Federal Employment Agency [Bundesagentur für Arbeit]/ [Zentrale Auslands und Fachvermittlung] (BA/ZAV).
With the signing of the Agreement, active recruitment of Filipino nurses will commence. The two labor ministers directed the Philippine Embassy, ZAV and POEA to closely work together for the deployment of the first batch of nurses to Germany within the year. The deployment process would involve the following steps: (1) the selection of qualified nurses through the POEA, BA/ZAV, and the Philippine Embassy; (2) successful completion of basic German language course in Manila; (3) attendance of a seminar on professional practices and on German culture; (4) matching of potential nursing employers in Germany. Further language training and adaptation process will take place in German hospitals.
Minister von der Leyen commented that in terms of qualified migration to Germany, the Philippines is an excellent partner because the two countries share the same values, beliefs and cultural background. She added that the Philippines is perceived to have high standards in the medical and nursing professions and that Filipina nurses also have the reputation of being high-qualified in their profession, with very pleasant nature and caring disposition.
The Minister also said that government university hospitals in Tübingen and Stuttgart have already indicated their readiness to employ Philippine nurses.
Ambassador Natividad recognized the groundwork laid down by the Team Philippines Germany, particularly the Philippine Honorary Consul for Baden-Württemberg Prof. Gerhard Zeidler.
“Preparations for this agreement have started as early as February of 2011. Prof. Zeidler was very aware of the urgent need for nurses in his area of jurisdiction. Together with the Philippine Embassy, Prof. Zeidler lobbied hard, worked with the state government of Baden-Württemberg on this issue, and was instrumental to the visit of Minister von der Leyen to the Philippines,” said Ambassador Natividad.
She cited, in particular, the concrete proposal for a pilot deployment project presented by Prof. Zeidler to the officials of the Government of Baden-Württemberg led by State Secretary Klaus Murawski. Prof. Dr. Zeidler also held exploratory talks with the Universitätsklinikum Tübingen.
“The Embassy will continue to rely on the support of Prof Zeidler and the state government of Baden-Württemberg, especially State Secretary Murawski to ensure the successful deployment of the first batch of nurses this year as envisioned by Minister von der Leyen.”
Ambassador Natividad also recognized the work of the Bundesverband privater Anbieter sozialer Dienste e.v. (Federation of Private Social Services Providers) (BPA). The BPA is the largest active advocacy of private providers of social services in Germany with more than 7,500 member institutions. BPA President Bernd Maurer discussed the deployment of nurses with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario during his official visit to Germany in December 2011. The BPA afterwards developed a pilot deployment project which they presented to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The deployment of nurses was further discussed by Secretary del Rosario and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle during the latter’s official visit to Manila last month. “The synergies of Team Philippines Germany turned this Agreement into a reality. Germany is now a destination for our nursing graduates who are seeking employment, ” concluded Ambassador Natividad.
The Philippine Embassy, POEA , and the Federal Employment Agency will work closely to ensure the successful deployment of the first batch of Filipino nurses this year. (END)