News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 20, 2010


Manitoba to Strengthen Relationship with Philippines Through Further Co-operation: Selinger

Premier Greg Selinger and Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz of the Philippines Department of Labour and Employment signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to continue a partnership that connects Filipino workers with potential employers, streamlines the immigration process and helps them prepare for a new life in Manitoba. In addition, Selinger said Manitoba will look for new opportunities to co‑operate with the Philippines in the areas of workforce development, health, education and culture.
“Our governments have worked together over the past two and a half years to make it easier and safer for skilled Filipino workers to find jobs and settle in Manitoba and we look forward to continuing this important partnership,” he said.   “We also want to find opportunities and activities to give back to the Philippines including in the areas of health and education.”
The MOU identifies shared priorities and provides a framework for the orderly, ethical and effective recruitment and migration of temporary foreign workers that is consistent with labour laws in the Philippines and Manitoba’s Worker Recruitment and Protection Act.  Highlights include quicker processing of applications and improved training opportunities in the Philippines to meet the requirements and standards for entry into Manitoba occupations.
Manitoba officials will work with their counterparts in the Philippines to develop an action plan of collaboration between the Philippines and Manitoba governments. Areas of co-operation could include:
·         Workforce development – Examining opportunities to better communicate qualifications recognition requirements and identifying opportunities for skills-training development in trades, for example, in the Philippines.
·         Health-sector collaboration – Collaborating regarding provision of surplus equipment and supplies, logistics and supply chain management, knowledge transfer, clinical interests such as diagnostics, women’s health and pediatrics, and administrative approaches such as planning, management and organization of health-care services.     
·         Education – Connecting post-secondary institutions in the Philippines with Manitoba post‑secondary institutions, facilitating partnerships between respective institutions and the kindergarten to Grade 12 sector, providing professional development opportunities and facilitating student/faculty exchanges.
·         Culture – examining opportunities for cultural and artifact exchanges and community-based cross‑cultural experiences.  
As a first pilot initiative under the initial MOU, Manitoba Labour and Immigration and Manitoba Health partnered with the Assiniboine, Parklands, Brandon and Central regional health authorities (RHAs) and the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba to recruit registered nurses from the Philippines.
The premier noted the health-sector initiative is a prime example of this successful partnership and its benefits to Manitoba’s workforce.  In total, 122 nurses came to Manitoba and are currently living and working in their new communities and, to date, 119 have passed the Canadian registered nursing exam.
A total of 97 nurses applied under the Provincial Nominee Program to become permanent Manitoba residents and all of those processed under the program have been accepted.
“Regional health authorities have told us hiring these Filipino nurses has improved morale and ensured services could be continued,” Selinger said.  “The RHAs have noted the nurses are integrating very well into their new communities and we are anticipating continued success with future recruitment efforts.”
Manitoba’s growing Filipino population accounted for 32 per cent of the province’s total immigration in 2009.
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