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SSS OFW Caravan in Belgium
Written by Sherwin Toledo    Friday, 04 November 2011 14:31    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail

Brussels, 21 October 2011 - Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union H.E. Victoria S. Bataclan led the officials from the Philippine Social Security System (SSS) in meeting with the concerned Belgian officials to discuss the implementation of the Philippines-Belgium Social Security Agreement signed in 2001 and took effect in 2005. The Ambassador was joined by SSS President Emilio De Quiros, Jr. and Senior Vice President Judy Frances See who called on the Belgian officials to pursue the objectives of the Agreement and invited them to visit Manila to explore other areas of cooperation.

Following the meeting, Ambassador Bataclan requested the SSS officials to brief the Filipino community in Brussels on the implementation of the bilateral agreement and how they would benefit from it. Mr. De Quiros gave a presentation on the Agreement and explained its provisions especially those affecting the Filipino migrants in Belgium. A "question and answer" portion clarified the various concerns raised by the Filipino community.

On 22 October, a briefing was also conducted in Antwerp. The Philippine Honorary Consul in Antwerp, Mr. Antonio Guansing gathered the community leaders at the Stella Maris Center not only to hear the briefing of the SSS officials but also to meet the newly-arrived arrived Philippine Ambassador.SSS_2

In her remarks, Ambassador Bataclan expressed her appreciation for the Filipinos who arrived at the Center despite the cold weather.  She conveyed her desire to work closely with them and gave assurance that she will be available and the Embassy in general in case they need help, advice or to discuss projects for the Filipino community and the Philippines.  She reiterated again her earlier request made when she met for the first time all the FilCom leaders in Belgium last 14 October in the Embassy.

The FilCom leaders lauded Ambassador Bataclan for bringing the SSS officials in Belgium and appreciated the information on Filipino benefits from the bilateral agreement.  Ambassador Bataclan also met about 20 Filipino seafarers who greeted her with enthusiasm.  She assured them that the Embassy is ready to extend its full support to them should they need its assistance especially on matters concerning the protection of their well-being.

SSS_3The visit to Belgium of the SSS officials was part of the SSS OFW Caravan 2011 which covered practicaly all the key cities in the Middle East and Europe with big concentrtaion of Filipino workers.  The SSS coverage of Filipino migrants is part of the Philippine government's package of protection for the more than nine million Filipino nationals working and living overseas. - END


Last Updated ( Friday, 04 November 2011 14:34 )

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