The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is forging ahead stronger relations with Russia following assurances of protection to Filipino workers in the Soviet state.


In a meeting this week, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Russian Ambassador Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev agreed to establish “a solid legal basis for cooperation” between the two countries for the benefit of Filipino migrants.


“We are glad we had preliminary discussion on various labor issues and concerns of mutual interest to both countries,” Bello said.


Khovaev assured the labor chief that the Russian government is doing its best to look after the welfare of Filipino workers in the Soviet state.


“A solid legal basis for cooperation should be established between our governments. Rights and legitimate interest of the workers should be fully protected,” Khovaev said.


Saying that Russia is in need of more labor, Khovaev also commended the Filipino work ethics and skills.


“Filipino workers are well known for their hard work, and for being law abiding citizens. Russians and Filipinos have similar values. We need to explore new possibilities and opportunities. We hope to start building a solid legal basis for this,” the Russian envoy added.


In response, Bello suggested forming a bilateral working group to craft the partnership where the rights and protection of both Filipino workers and Russian employers will be guaranteed.


“We hope to meet with our counterparts in Russia for us to discuss the specifics of this agreement. A working group should define the terms and guidelines for this,” he added.


#Paul Ang

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