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Vice President Jejomar Binay is joined at Mass by (from left) Consul General Jesus S. Domingo of the
Philippine Mission to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Leslie J. Baja, Chargé d’affaires a.i. Jose Victor V. Chan-Gonzaga of Philippine Mission to WTO Geneva, and Mr. J. Rizal C. Pangilinan, Secretary General, Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

Filipino community dialogues with Vice President Jejomar Binay

VP Binay warmly received by Filipinos in Switzerland

11 March 2012- The Philippine Embassy in Berne reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that more than 200 Filipinos from all over Switzerland crammed the St Martin’s Church in Thun on Sunday, 11 March to the attend the Filipino mass together with Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay.  The Vice President was in Switzerland to attend the World Scout Meeting and, like in all his foreign trips, took time out to meet the overseas Filipinos.

Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Leslie J. Baja led officials of the Philippine Embassy in Berne, the Philippine Missions to the UN and WTO in Geneva in welcoming Vice President Binay.  He thanked the Vice President for his keen interest in the welfare of overseas Filipinos and assured him that the Embassy will always be proactive in promoting the Philippine government’s program for OFWs.

After a lunch offered by the Filipino community in the Vice President’s honor, a dialogue was conducted by the Vice President which was warmly welcomed by the Filipinos present.  Vice President Binay highlighted the government’s programs in promoting and protecting the welfare of OFWs, the issues and problems faced by them like human trafficking, illegal recruitment and drug trafficking.

VP Binay also encouraged people to enroll in the Pagibig Fund program for them to be able to avail themselves of the benefits of the program.  He likewise called on the Filipinos in Switzerland to link up with the Philippine Embassy in Berne and the Consular Section of the Philippine Mission to the UN in Geneva regarding their concerns.

There are approximately 11,000 Filipinos in Switzerland and are among the most respected foreign nationals in that country.  Since 2010, when the ban on au pairs to Switzerland was lifted, many Filipino nurses have applied as au pairs in Switzerland.  The Embassy is also promoting the employment of professional and technical trainees in Swiss companies in Switzerland and vice versa.

At the end of his visit, Vice President Binay expressed satisfaction regarding the conditions of the Filipinos in Switzerland and urged them to do their share in the Philippines’ socio-economic development.   For their part, the Filipinos promised the Vice President of their support in his OFW programs and in nation building.

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