VICE PRESIDENT BINAY MEETS WITH GERMAN LABOR MINISTER VON DER LEYEN: BOTH SIDES AGREE TO FAST TRACK DEPLOYMENT OF FILIPINO NURSES TO GERMANY
5 June 2013, Berlin – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, on the third day of his one week working visit to Germany, met Germany’s Labor Minister, Dr. Ursula von der Leyen at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, to sustain the momentum of Philippines-German labor cooperation following the signing of the agreement to deploy Filipino Healthcare Professionals to Germany on 18 March 2013. The Vice President was joined by Philippine Ambassador to Germany Maria Cleofe Natividad, Honorable Francisco Tatad, and Prof. Dr. Gerhard Zeidler, Philippine Honorary Consul General to Baden-Württemberg and Hesse.
Vice President Binay informed Minister von der Leyen that following her visit to Manila in March 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III had ratified the agreement on 29 May 2013. This means that the Agreement will now take effect and the implementing guidelines will be issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) soon. The POEA is expected to start processing of nurses’ applications by 16 June 2013.
“For the Philippines, it means an opportunity for our nurses to get employed in Germany. And for Germany, it addresses the shortage of nurses and other health professionals in the country,” emphasized Vice President Binay. Both sides are targeting the initial deployment of 50 Filipino nurses to Germany in the latter half of 2013, with an additional nurses expected in 2014.
The Vice President and Labor Minister von der Leyen took stock of the full gamut of potential labor cooperation and both sides also welcomed initial progress on the proposed Philippines-Germany Social Security Agreement. It is expected that the social security agreement will allow Filipinos returning to the Philippines to repatriate and totalize their pensions. The next round of negotiations on a social security agreement will take place in the Philippines in January 2014.
Taking account of the existing complementarities in the maritime sector, Vice President Binay further suggested that the Philippines and Germany pursue cooperation in the maritime sector, which would potentially enhance technology transfer and boost the quality of seafarers’ training in the Philippines. Noting the recent move to a K-12 educational system, Vice President Binay also expressed the Philippines’ interest to learn from Germany’s success with its dual vocational training system, which could further meet the demands of the Philippines’ expanding transportation infrastructure, real estate, and mining sectors.
As part of his commitment to ensure the welfare of nurses who are interested in working in Germany, Vice President Binay also met with State Secretary Klaus Murawski of Baden-Württemberg to discuss deployment of nurses in that state and obtain government support for nurses, particularly the recognition of their credentials which will facilitate their entry. The meeting was arranged through Honorary Consul General Zeidler, among the prime movers behind the nurses’ agreement. – END –