After several months of diplomatic negotiations involving many communiqués and two visits to the Cayman Islands, the Philippines government late last month reversed its decision to list the Cayman Islands amongst countries which fail in their obligations to protect the rights of Filipino workers.
In late 2011 the Cayman Islands was erroneously 'black-listed' by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration as one of the countries which it considered did not have sufficient safeguards in place to protect the rights of migrant workers.
The ensuing local effort to reverse that decision involved the Deputy Governor's Office and Attorney General the Hon. Samuel Bulgin. The British Embassy in Manila also communicated with the Philippine government on the matter, on behalf of the Governor's Office.
On 22 May 2012, the government of the Philippines confirmed that the Cayman Islands have been compliant in safeguarding the rights of immigrant workers. Thirty other countries (including Egypt, India, Nicaragua, and the Turks and Caicos) engaged in similar processes, and have also been removed from the list.
Welcoming the announcement, Cayman Islands' Deputy Governor the Hon. Franz Manderson said, "Filipino nationals constitute the second-largest group of expatriate workers, which should indicate that the government and people of the Cayman Islands are indeed very welcoming of them - as we are of the more than 100 other nationalities which live and work in harmony in these Islands."
Mr. Manderson also praised the efforts of all those involved in collating and providing the evidence to confirm Cayman's compliance regime.
Mr. Bulgin said, "The government is delighted that the Cayman Islands has been removed from the list of non-compliant countries." He added that the inclusion of Cayman on the list had been premature, and could have been avoided if the appropriate consultation had taken place before the list was issued.
Mr. Art Ursua, the Cayman Islands' unofficial consul for the Philippines, also welcomed the acknowledgment that these Islands are in compliance with the protection guarantees listed under the Department of Foreign Affairs.
For further information contact: Lennon Christian