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PH, US seal deal on fair wage

The Philippines and the United States have signed an agreement to ensure that Filipino workers in the US receive fair and timely wages.

An accord, called Arrangement Establishing an Understanding, was signed this week by the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Baltimore District Office and the Consular Section of the Philippine Embassy.

Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. and Consul General Emilio T. Fernandez signed on behalf of the embassy, while Deputy Administrator Laura Fortman and Baltimore District Director Mark Lara represented the WHD.

“This document is a testament to the fruitful and continuing engagement between the embassy and the Wage and Hour Division in ensuring the protection and promotion of the rights of Filipino workers in the US,” Cuisia said Saturday in a statement from Washington.

The accord, he noted, “is a vital component of our assistance-to-nationals efforts as well as an affirmation of the US government’s advocacy for human rights and a demonstration of their appreciation for the Filipino workers’ contribution to the US economy.”

Cuisia also said the agreement would help the embassy in its efforts to ensure safe and fairer work environments for Filipinos.

“With a significant number of Filipinos living and working abroad, the Philippine government has made the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of Filipinos overseas an important pillar of Philippine foreign policy, pursuing migrant worker-related bilateral agreements, regional arrangements, and international standards that would facilitate the creation of safer and fairer work environments,” he said.

Since 2012, the embassy has concluded a total of 10 local agreements with various district offices of the WHD within its jurisdiction.

The Philippines also has similar arrangements with other labor-related agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, and the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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