L-R) Mr. Marcel Thenu, Manager of APM Technica in the Philippines, Filipino trainee Ms. Shera Cardinal,
Philippine Ambassador Mr. Leslie J. Baja, APM CEO
Mr. Stefan Mattle, Filipino trainee Ms. Rianne Cabiao, and Consul
Lillibeth V. Pono.
Two Filipino Trainees Open Possibility
of Employment in Switzerland
Two Filipino trainees of Swiss company APM Technica, Ms. Shera
Cardinal and Ms. Rianne Cabiao, called on Philippine Ambassador to
Switzerland Leslie Baja on 9 September at the Embassy Chancery in
Berne. APM Technica is a full-service adhesive and surface
technology provider and has a facility in the Philippine Economic Zone
in Cabuyao, Laguna.
For several years now, APM Technica headed by Mr. Stefan Mattle, has
brought at least two trainees from the Philippines every 18 months to
work at their headquarters in Heerbrugg in eastern Switzerland.
This program is being undertaken under the Philippines-Switzerland
Agreement on the Exchange of Professional and Technical Trainees.
Last month, a bilateral working group met in Manila under the auspices
of DOLE/POEA to discuss the procedures on how this agreement could move
forward so that a bigger number of trainees could avail of this
program. The Embassy is looking into the possibility of opening
the door for Filipino healthcare workers to work in Swiss hospitals by
starting as trainees.
Last year, the Embassy also successfully worked for the lifting of the
ban on Au Pairs to Switzerland, the first such lifting of the ban for a
European country. The lifting further enhanced the strong people
to people contact between the Philippines and Switzerland.
There are about 10,000 Filipinos in Switzerland, mostly working in
international organizations in Geneva and in Swiss health
institutions. In a recent meeting he had with Filipinos in
Zurich, Ambassador Baja informed the Filipinos present that in his
talks with Swiss officials, he was told that the Filipinos in
Switzerland are among the most respected and well-liked foreign
nationals in the country. He told them that given this
distinction, they are the best ambassadors of goodwill the Philippines
can ever have in Switzerland.
The Philippines and Switzerland have a long history of warm and close
relations. Diplomatic relations were established 55 years ago on
30 August 1956 but the first Swiss consular representation in Asia was
established in Manila in 1862 or almost 150 years ago.