Job opportunities and other issues discussed in Abu Dhabi Dialogue II


Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday expressed confidence that issues and challenges involving the recruitment and deployment of contract workers to the Gulf Cooperation Council and other migrant worker destinations in Asian countries will be identified and discussed extensively at the Abu Dhabi Dialogue II (ADD II) meetings to enable participating governments to forge unilateral, bilateral, and regional actions that will improve the contract employment cycle.
“The Abu Dhabi Dialogue provides an opportunity for governments in countries sending and receiving contract workers to discuss and deal collaboratively with problems in the contract worker system. The Abu Dhabi Dialogue II in Manila will be such an opportunity,” Baldoz said on the eve of the event.
The ADD, an important dialogue of 11 countries—namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam—of migrant worker origin that are members of the Colombo Process and nine countries of migrant worker destination—namely, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen—is to convene from April 17 to 19 at the Sofitel Hotel in Manila.
DOLE Undersecretary Danilo P. Cruz, the top labor and employment official who is overseeing the preparation and conduct of the dialogue, said Malaysia and Singapore will also participate in the ADD II as observers.
“Most of the participating senior officials in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue II have arrived,” Usec. Cruz confirmed.
The event consists of a two-day 2nd Senior Officials Meeting on April 17–18 and the 2nd Ministerial Consultation on April 19. These meetings will bring together the Colombo Process countries after almost four years to continue the dialogue and to review the initiatives and partnerships under the ADD I, which was held in 2008.
“The goal of the discussions during the 2nd Senior Officials Meeting is to identify problems and the steps that governments can take unilaterally, bilaterally, and regionally to resolve these issues in order to enhance the potential for international contract labor mobility and expand human development for workers and economic benefits for employers and the countries of origin [COO] and destinations,” Baldoz said.
At the 2nd Senior Officials Meeting, representatives and delegates of participating countries of origin and destination will deliberate on the issues laid out in the Technical Report of the 2012 Regional Collaboration Framework.
This report is framed by the four major phases of contract labor mobility that have been identified during the ADD I, namely, preemployment in countries of destination (CODs) and predeparture recruitment and orientation in COOs; employment and residence in CODs; preparation in CODs for return and reintegration in COOs; and return and reintegration of workers in COOs.
Participating countries in ADD II will focus on the problems and issues that arise in the contract employment cycle; options to resolve the issues and problems; and the potential for governmental action, as contained in the report, which also outlines concrete proposals and major enhancement programs that could help countries improve their existing system of administering overseas employment.
Aside from these, the report presents sets of best practices and menu-tested solutions for problems encountered at each stage of the temporary employment cycle, lessons that could help in the design and refinement of preparation to return programs of contract workers.
Officially known as the Ministerial Consultation on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin and Destination in Asia, the ADD is focused on developing four key, action-oriented partnerships on worker migration: (1) knowledge sharing on market trends, skills profiles, workers and remittances policies and flows, and their relationship to development; (2) building capacity for effective matching of labor supply and demand; (3) preventing illegal recruitment and promoting welfare and protection measures; and (4) developing a framework for a comprehensive approach to managing the entire cycle of temporary contractual work that fosters the mutual interest of COOs and CODs.