August 9, 2013, Cebu City, Philippines – In a recent visit to Cebu City, Deputy Evgeny Marchenko of the Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly announced that Russia is now open to accept Filipino overseas workers.
As many as 8,100 jobs await Filipinos in the medical sector alone, particularly nurses, whose skill and background are in high demand in Russia. Mr. Marchenko has already met with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, as well as Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama who expressed their approval and support of the move to open the Russian job market to the Philippines. Marchenko also discussed his agenda with officers of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
He said that the next step is now for our governments to work together to formalize the labor market agreement.
Aside from the medical sector, Russia is also in need of 21,000 workers in the building sector and is open to hiring even more skilled workers in different fields, including the hospitality industry, an area where Filipinos excel.
Marchenko is working closely with the Philippine-Russian Business Assembly (PRBA), whose founding Chairperson, Armi Lopez Garcia (also an Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation), has lobbied tirelessly for the creation of more trade and investment agreements between the countries.
The PRBA now has a counterpart chamber in Russia, the Russian-Philippine Business Council (RPBC), that it works in tandem with to push business and economic ties between both countries.
Salaries in Russia are comparable to oil-rich countries in the Middle East, and Marchenko said Russia has the distinct advantage of being a Christian nation, therefore more culturally close to the Philippines. Working conditions are reputably good. The only hurdle is the language barrier. Filipinos need to learn Russian if they are to work in that country. Something which, Marchenko said is “not difficult”.
Marchenko said “The ball is now in your court,” meaning the Philippine government now has to do its part in making this labor exchange possible. With Russia already extending its hand in mutual cooperation, the Philippines now has to do its part in making sure that Filipinos do get the chance to work in Russia through the creation of a formal treaty.
In the press conference panel, Marchenko was joined by Consul Armi Lopez Garcia, Mr. Caesar Atienza, member of the Board of Directors of the PRBA and Mr. Gerry Sta. Ana, a Governor of the Board of Investments in the Philippines.