Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) participants voted Philippines as chairman in the next two years


Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday welcomed the overwhelming consensus of countries participating in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) process to make the Philippines chairman of the Dialogue in the next two years.
“I welcome this as a recognition of the Philippines’ commitment to champion not only the welfare and protection of overseas Filipino workers, but also the cause of migrant workers all over Asia,” said Baldoz during the 2nd Ministerial Meeting on the last day of the three-day ADD II at the Sofitel Hotel in Manila.
No less than President Benigno S. Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay graced the opening of the 2nd Ministerial Meeting.
Vice President Binay introduced the President, who delivered the keynote speech, and Secretary Baldoz delivered the welcome message to the participating labor ministers and senior officials, delegates, and guests.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Labor Minister Saqr Ghobash, the current chair of the ADD, also delivered his address, then turned over the gavel, the symbol of the chairman’s authority, to Secretary Baldoz. The turnover signals the assumption by the Philippines of the Dialogue’s chairmanship in the next two years.
In his address, Minister Ghobash expressed his gratitude to the Philippines for the successful hosting of the event, saying it was a testament to the country’s commitment to the welfare of Filipino nationals overseas and to its close cooperation with labor-receiving countries in looking after the interests of its expatriate citizens and facilitating their return to the Philippines at the end of their journey.
“It is befitting that the Philippines stepped forward to chair the ADD process. The Philippines has historically been in the lead among nations when it comes to engagement and participation in regional and international fora that address issues and challenges of labor migration,” he said.
“During the last four years that the UAE chaired the ADD, the Philippines was consistently engaged in the implementation of the recommendations of the Ministerial Consultation and actively participated in pilot projects and programs, the outcome of which were documented in the approved technical report to the Abu Dhabi Dialogue II,” he added.
Translating its commitment in sustaining and moving the ADD process forward, Minister Ghobash announced in his address that the UAE is offering to host the permanent site of the ADD secretariat in his country’s capital.
Secretary Baldoz explained that the technical report was the basis of the Framework of Regional Collaboration, which was deliberated and approved by the ADD labor ministers on the last day of the Dialogue.
“The Framework of Regional Collaboration is the major output of this three-day event. It is a historic document designed to guide participating countries in undertaking concrete unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral actions towards an enhanced contract migration cycle, from pre-deployment to employment, to preparation for return, and, finally, to reintegration,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz mentioned that among the major inputs of the Philippines to the proposed framework are the: (a) protection of women workers; (b) cooperation in times of emergency crisis; (c) facilitation of repatriation of nationals; and (d) regulation of cost of migration.
The ADD, an important dialogue of 11 countries of migrant worker origin, which are members of the Colombo Process—namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam—and nine countries of migrant worker destination—namely, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE, and Yemen—took place from April 17 to 19 at the Sofitel Hotel in Manila.
DOLE Undersecretary Danilo P. Cruz was the Chairman of the ADD II Organizing Committee and the Senior Officials Meeting held during the three-day event.