PHL Ambassador engages with canterbury employer's chamber of commerce in ChristChurch, New Zealand
As part of the Philippine Embassy’s continuing priority to deepen linkages with various organizations and agencies in Christchurch, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez accompanied by Philippine Honorary Consul to Christchurch Peter Wait met with senior representatives of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (CECC), namely, General Manager Leeann Watson, Migrant Employment Coordinator Jude Ryan-O’Dea and Settlement Support Coordinator Lana Hart on 13 February 2014 at the Westpac Business Hub in Christchurch. Ambassador Benavidez led the Embassy’s Mobile Consular Team to Christchurch on 13-17 February 2014 and took the opportunity to touch base with CECC and other relevant authorities to discuss and exchange information on the situation and status of Filipino workers engaged in the rebuild and reconstruction of Christchurch.
The exchange of views and updates focused on programmes related to the employment, treatment and welfare of Filipino workers in Christchurch. Discussions covered the various steps and arrangements being undertaken by the relevant agencies in the Philippines and New Zealand to address concerns and problems related to the recruitment and deployment of Filipino skilled workers in the rebuild and reconstruction of Christchurch and ensure protection of their rights and access to pastoral care and local authorities and settlement support groups for their well-being and integration with the communities. The importance of holding seminars and disseminating information for the knowledge and benefit of Filipino workers as they stay and work in Christchurch prior to their departure from the Philippines, upon arrival in and during their stay in New Zealand has been stressed. Ambassador Benavidez thanked the CECC officers for a highly informative and interactive meeting and for their acknowledgement of and appreciation for the valuable contributions, positive work ethics and recognized skills of the increasing number of Filipinos engaged in the rebuild and reconstruction of Christchurch. She also conveyed appreciation to CECC for inviting her to join the subsequent meeting with companies employing Filipino workers in various fields to get a first-hand knowledge of and feedback on Filipino workers’ recognized skills and capabilities and positive performance and highly regarded work ethics in Christchurch.