MANILA, Philippines – The German Labor and Social Affairs Minister, Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, came to the Philippines Monday to witness the signing of an agreement allowing Filipino health care professionals to work in Germany.
“The German Minister is in Manila for an official visit to witness the signing of the Agreement Concerning the Placement of Filipino Health Care Professionals in Employment Positions in the Federal Republic of Germany,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.
“The Agreement is expected to open the German health care sector to Filipino health care professionals who have been, heretofore, barred from employment in accordance with existing German laws,” it said.
Leyen had also paid a courtesy call to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario Monday morning aside from witnessing the signing of the agreement at the Department of Labor and Employment.
“The initiative to help facilitate the deployment of Philippine health care professionals, nurses in particular, to Germany has been high in the agenda of the two countries,” DFA said.
“It was taken up during the official visit of Secretary del Rosario to Germany in December 2011 and during the visit to Manila of German Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle [February this year],” it said.
The agreement was described by Del Rosario in the statement as a “win-win situation for both countries.”
“On the one hand, the Philippines will be able to help Germany fill its needs for health care professionals,” DFA said.
“On the other, Philippine health care professionals will be given the opportunity to be employed in Germany, a country which is known for its excellent labor and social welfare standards,” it added.
According to 2010 statistics of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), an estimated 21,724 to 29,273 nurses and caregivers leave the Philippines annually for greener pastures abroad.