12 March 2009
Australia asked to take on more Filipino workers
The chairman of the Senate constitutional amendments and justice committees, Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, has met with the Australian Prime Minister, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and the Minister for Employment, Education and Workplace to discuss migration and labour issues.
In a press release from the Philippine Government, Escudero said the meeting worked on developing the relationship between the two governments, particularly so that more Filipino workers could move to Australia for work during the economic downturn.
More specifically, Senator Escudero was pushing for more Filipino health professionals to be allowed to migrate to Australia, and for an improvement of conditions for overseas workers. Australia is still desperate for foreign doctors, nurses, pharmacists and midwives to ease the skills shortage in its workforce, and the Philippines has an oversupply of displaced labour caused be the global economic crisis.
Senator Escudero also called on Filipino migrants to lend a helping hand to those thinking of emigrating to Australia.
"In light of the global financial crisis that has resulted in many Overseas Filipino Workers being laid off, I call on our countrymen, especially those who have established roots outside the Philippines, not to forget that there are those who have decided to follow their footsteps. All of you here were also jobseekers once," he said.
Although Philippines-born migrants now comprise only 1 per cent of Australia's total population, the Australian Embassy in Manila has confirmed is has received a significant increase in the number of skilled Filipinos immigrating to Australia, with numbers in 2008 jumping by 138 per cent on the previous year.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.