Ireland has started to implement new policies allowing some 2,000 Filipino caregivers in this country to undergo hospital training as nurses following the efforts of the Philippine Embassy officials in London to reach out and negotiate with the Irish government, Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas today said.

Citing a report from Assistant Secretary Maria Zenaida Collinson of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Sto. Tomas said that the spouses of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Ireland would also be allowed to work in this country.

Sto. Tomas said that the new Irish immigration and employment policies are a milestone in the efforts of the Philippine Embassy in London to promote the welfare of OFWs and their families in Ireland. She likewise conveyed gratitude to the Irish government for extending the employment opportunities to OFWs.

“We in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) express our deep appreciation of the Irish government and the Filipino officials in London for their active involvement in promoting and safeguarding the rights and welfare of the OFWs in Ireland,” Sto. Tomas said.

The Philippine Embassy in London helped lay the groundwork for improved Irish policies for OFWs inIreland, the labor chief said noting that embassy officials raised the concerns of OFWs in Ireland in their bilateral meetings with Irish officials during the embassy’s Consular Outreach Program in Dublin last March.

The new Irish immigration policies allow the issuance of work permits to the spouses of OFWs in Ireland, a move that would usher family reunification for many Filipinos in this country.

Prior to this, spouses of OFWs in Ireland could not find work in this country, which discouraged the OFWs to bring their spouses and children to Ireland.

The Irish government also released a new procedure for foreign healthcare workers to allow them to obtain working visas. If found qualified by the Irish Nursing Board, they would be allowed to take up an adaptation program for nursing in a training hospital.

Sto. Tomas said that the new scheme would benefit about 2,000 Filipino caregivers in Irish nursing homes who have been classified as under-board nurses in Ireland.

The DOLE chief said that the new developments in Ireland showed that OFWs in this country enjoy the same rights and privileges as the Irish people indicating that the country would continue to be a lucrative place for Filipino professionals and highly skilled workers.

source: Information and Publication Service

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