DFA chief: Philippines to open migrant workers office in Hungary

2024 June 14

MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is set to open a new office in Hungary, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said Thursday.

The announcement was made after the productive 8th Philippine-Hungary Political Consultations in Makati City, led by Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjárto.

“Hungary is home to a fast-growing number of Filipino workers, now numbering around 16,000. I am aware of the appreciation of Hungarians for the high-quality of work provided by our workers and the positive contributions of Filipinos to Hungarian society,” Manalo said in a joint press conference.

He described the relations between the two states on labor as “very good and excellent.”

Manalo did not provide details about the timeline but said the establishment of a Migrant Workers Office would help further improve the condition of Filipino workers in Hungary.

“So, they will be directly now involved in improving their conditions there and also maybe encouraging further Filipino labor there in Hungary,” he said.

On top of labor, Szijjárto and Manalo discussed possible avenues to enhance bilateral trade and investments.

Manalo said Manila encouraged Budapest to look into investing in the Philippines’ agriculture, information and communications technology, digital technologies, and water technologies, as well as renewable energy, green metals, electrical vehicle manufacturing, and smart and high-tech light manufacturing.

“Minister Szijjártó and I assured each other of our commitment to advance our bilateral initiatives and to collaborate on regional and international matters of mutual concern,” he said.

“I am confident that we can further strengthen our ties and collaborate for the mutual benefit of our nations.”

Szijjárto, meanwhile, confirmed that “Hungarian companies will carry out” water management investments in the Philippines to improve the country’s access to potable water.

Hungary, he said, would also cooperate with the Philippines “to make sure” it could prepare for the introduction of its nuclear industry.

In addition, it would continue providing scholarships to Filipino students under its Stipendium Hungaricum Programme.

Apart from Manalo, the visiting Hungarian foreign minister also met with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac.

 Joyce Ann L. Rocamora (PNA)