New Zealand, Philippines sign landmark labor cooperation agreement

Philippines and New Zealand inked a landmark labor cooperation agreement September 20. Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz and New Zealand Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michel Woodhouse signed the agreement that strongly implements a no-placement fee for overseas Filipino workers going to New Zealand, clamps down hard on illegal and unscrupulous recruiters and agents, and prosecutes perpetrators of document fraud and other recruitment shenanigans.

The agreement, “Arrangement on the Principles and Controls on the Recruitment and Protection of Filipino Workers in New Zealand” was signed at New Zealand’s Parliament House during a brief ceremony in the presence of Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia Benavidez and top officials from New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.

Ambassador Benavidez was instrumental in crafting the said agreement.

“This is a very historic and a very significant occasion,” said Baldoz during the signing event. “This landmark document will govern the smooth deployment of skilled and professional overseas Filipino workers to New Zealand and ensure their welfare and protection while working in this country.”

“Two countries working together to eliminate costly job placement and other recruitment-related fees, illegal recruitment and human trafficking, document fraud and fake training and qualifications credentials will make a strong case for a model bilateral arrangement for other sending and receiving countries to emulate,” she added.