Morocco plans to regulate the hiring of Filipino workers in the Kingdom

“This will be a win-win solution. The agreement could help protect our workers and also open the market to professionals wishing to join Morocco,” Philippine Ambassador to Morocco Leslie Baja told the Philippine news agency PNA on Tuesday.

The diplomat said the agreement, which would take the form of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), was proposed by Morocco taking into consideration “some of the basic aspects of our migration and labor concerns.”  

“Even if it is only a MOU, it is a good first step so that we can move to another level later on. Morocco is eager to move the talks forward, so it prefers to start with a memorandum of understanding instead of a higher value agreement,” he continued.

Formal talks have not yet begun, but the embassy is coordinating closely with the Department of Migrant Workers to start them as soon as possible, “hopefully within the year,” the diplomat said.

The MoU is expected to spell out the commitments between the relevant labor agencies of the two countries, which Baja said could also pave the way for other agreements on the hiring of Filipino workers.

In this vein, Baja reported a growing interest in Morocco to hire Filipino nurses. “I was surprised in one of my meetings last week. They said they were looking into the possible hiring of our nurses. It seems there is an interest and we have passed it on to our authorities in the Philippines,” he said.

Referring to existing Moroccan laws, Baja said that hiring foreign workers in the health sector only covers doctors or physicians. “There has to be a mechanism in place because right now, the current regulations do not, if I’m not mistaken, allow foreign nurses to work here, but if they access the market, that would be good,” he said.

Last year, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. led a Philippine delegation to Morocco and witnessed the signing of various agreements, including an air services agreement and a memorandum of understanding on political consultations.

The two countries are scheduled to celebrate 48 years of diplomatic relations next week, established on April 10, 1975.

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