Philippine Labour and Employment Secretary Silvestre H Bello III yesterday met with representatives of Filipino community organisations in Qatar, along with Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Ciriaco A Lagunzad III, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac and ACTS-OFW Partylist Congressman Aniceto D. Bertiz III.
Philippine Ambassador Alan L Timbayan welcomed the gathering of 250 Filipinos, among them were representatives of more than 100 organisations under the umbrella of United Filipino Organisations in Qatar (UFOQ).
Timbayan highlighted the contribution of over 240,000 Filipinos in Qatar engaged in various fields. Philippines has the fourth largest expatriate community in Qatar.
“The travel of Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III upon the invitation of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) is very timely given new developments in addressing the concerns of our migrant workers. Secretary Bello is also very excited in meeting the Filipino community representatives and commends them for their efforts in the service of fellow overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and in nation building,” said Philippine Labor Attache David Des Dicang.
During the meeting, Bello briefed about the latest programs of the Philippine government for OFWs, while the attendees were able to ask questions to the DOLE Secretary during an open forum.
“We are grateful to be given the opportunity to voice out the diverse concerns of different Filipino groups and sectors and the entire Filipino expatriates working and residing in this country to the Philippine government through Secretary Bello and his delegation. We are hopeful that this dialogue will pave way for prompt resolution of those issues and lead to better appreciation of the Philippine government of the immediate needs and requests of our Kababayans especially those concerning Filipinos in distress and those who fear for their future and the future of their loved ones back home due to uncertainties in their respective workplaces here,” said UFOQ Chairman Engr. Henry Dimaano.
The Philippine Embassy and POLO honoured Dr Hanadi Al Hamad with special award. Dr. Al Hamad is a senior Qatari physician who has been very active member of Rumaillah Hospital’s Repatriation Committee which provides necessary assistance to medically and non-medically stable non-Qatari patients with no family in Qatar.