Filipino workers should comply with Macau’s regulations: Philippine Consul General

Friday, October 10, 2008
Issue 492, Page 3
Word count: 545
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The new Philippine Consul General to Macau, Jaime Victor B. Ledda, said yesterday that foreign Filipino workers “should be familiar with themselves” about the SAR government’s policies to adjust the imported labour force so as to be “well prepared for any impact that could possibly happen on them”.

Mr Ledda took office on September 1, 2008 when the Philippine Consulate General Office was reopened after moving to the AIA Tower.

Meeting for the first time with Susana Chou, the president of the Macau Legislative Assembly yesterday, the Philippine Consul General told the media afterwards that his major focus during his term would be on “rendering consulate services to our nationals in Macau and also to promote greater social, economic and cultural cooperation between the Philippines and Macau”.

Mr Ledda also said that the current global economic changes affected “all of us” which included the Philippine community.

“We’re very concerned about how the current international financial crisis will have an impact not only on the Filipinos but all foreigners wherever they are,” Mr Ledda said.

“And we hope through cooperation that we have between the Philippines and Macau as well as other bilateral partners we will be able to overcome these difficult times,” he added.

The SAR government announced last week new policies to freeze the growth of imported cleaners, security guards, casino pit supervisors and construction workers in Macau.

The Consul General said according to information provided by the Immigration Office, as of August 2008 there were 11,500 imported Filipinos working in Macau and also about 800 were holders of the Macau identity cards.

When asked whether the government’s measures would affect the local Philippine community, Mr Ledda said the main issue was that Filipinos workers must have to “observe the regulations of Macau as like what other foreign workers in the Philippines do”.

“We have to see how we can ensure that this procedure is followed, such as we have to prevent people from falling into traps of illegal employment and to make sure that they are well informed about the government policies and from there we can help them cope with whatever influences the new measures may bring to the Filipinos’ lives,” he added.

During the meeting with Susana Chou at the Legislative Assembly yesterday, Mr Ledda said they talked about “the impacts of the financial crisis and what strategies their countries are trying to launch” in respond to the hardships.

“I told her that we have two upcoming multilateral conferences which will be held in Beijing this month and in Peru in November,” he said, adding “these are opportunities for the believers of our countries to meet and discuss the current global issues especially about what each nation is going to do to cope with them.”

The Philippine Consulate General in Macau renders services to their nationals including applications for passports and overseas employment certificates which are needed in order to have some of their taxes exempted by the Philippine government when working outside the country.

Before coming to Macau, Mr Ledda first worked in Milan where he also opened a Philippine Consulate General in 1995, in Brussels for three and a half years and was recalled to his country in 2001 and then in Beijing between April 2004 and August 2008.

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