PH, Switzerland Sign Guidelines on Trainee Exchange

MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment and the government of Switzerland on Thursday signed guidelines on documentation and deployment of Filipino trainees in Switzerland, under the Philippine-Swiss Agreement on the Exchange of Professional and Technical Trainees.

The newly-signed guidelines will greatly enhance migration and human resource development cooperation between the two countries.

Under the guidelines on the documentation and deployment of Filipino trainees to Switzerland, Filipinos desiring to train and work in Switzerland–who are 18 to 35 years of age, have completed secondary or tertiary education–must first find an employer.

The employment arrangement will involve a signed prescribed standard employment contract, which should include the following provisions: (a) type of employment; (b) 18-month employment duration; (c) salary, trial period, and period of notice; (d) working hours and holiday entitlement; (e) health and accident insurance; and (f) information who is to shoulder the trainee’s travel expenses.

The employment contract is subject to the review and approval of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Once approved, the POEA will issue the exit clearance for the trainee’s departure. The Swiss Embassy in Manila will issue the visa to trainees after their documents have been approved and endorsed by the Federal Office for Migration (FOM).

The FOM, in this regard, is tasked to notify the POEA of its approved visa applications and will provide the Administration copy of the FOM-stamped employment contract between the employer and the worker trainee.

Swiss trainees, on the other hand, will be issued with a temporary visitor’s visa to be issued by the Philippine Consular Office in Switzerland.

According to the Guidelines on the documentation and deployment of Swiss trainees to Philippines, the FOM shall provide the trainee with an endorsement letter to be submitted at the DOLE-National Capital Region, which will then file and process the trainee’s Alien Employment Permit (AEP).

“Only the DOLE-NCR will process the AEP application of the Swiss trainee even if his/her work is not in the national capital,” according to Baldoz.

Pursuant to Article V of the Agreement, the Swiss trainee shall be exempted from the publication requirement and the payment of publication fee upon submission of necessary requirements, including an endorsement letter from FOM addressed to DOLE-NCR, certifying that the Swiss trainee is deployed under the agreement.

The Swiss trainee, while in the Philippines, if he or she will practice regulated profession, must have a special temporary permit issued by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

“The signing of these two guidelines will certainly boost the chances of our workers of gainfully learning and experiencing the Swiss culture, as well as their work discipline, in the case of Filipino trainees. In the case of Swiss trainees, we look forward to hosting them here in the Philippines and enrich their technical expertise, aside from enabling them to learn about our rich culture as a people and as a nation,” said Baldoz.

“We take pride with the recognition that the Philippines is a gateway to robust economic and investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, with the possibility of Swiss trainees beginning and enriching their own global careers in our country,” she added.

Baldoz said there are over 60 Swiss companies in the Philippines, with the DOLE engaging them in tripartite and social dialogue endeavors.

(Source: ABS CBN News)

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