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Bishop lauds ASEAN pact on migrant workers’ rights

Bishop lauds ASEAN pact on migrant workers’ rights

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, CBCP-ECMI Chairman. ANALYN PERUCHO

MANILA— A Catholic bishop has lauded the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in its bid to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers across the region.

The leaders of the 10-member states of the ASEAN gathered in Manila for a week-long summit are expected to sign on Tuesday a landmark document on the protection of migrant workers.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Migrants on Itinerant People, described the agreement as “caring and helpful” initiative of the ASEAN leaders.

“This manifests their concern and compassion of the plight of our migrant workers,” Santos said.

With common and unified stand of the ASEAN leaders, he said the rights and privileges of all migrant workers will be “protected, promoted and respected”.

“Their decision is the best and very beneficial to all migrant workers regardless of their nationalities,” he said.

The Philippine government earlier said that the signing of the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers is the “centerpiece” of the Philippine chairmanship of the 10-nation bloc.

Foreign Affairs acting spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said one of the key features of the agreement is for the host country to afford the same level of protection to migrant workers as they do to their own citizens.

He said this include protection in terms of labor contracts, labor standards, access to legal representation, especially access to consular representation.

The ASEAN counts as members the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. CBCPNews