Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

LOS ANGELES–The Philippine ambassador to the U.S. is on a mission to keep overseas Filipino workers employed, and keep money flowing into the Philippines.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. met with the Filipino community in Los Angeles to talk about the country’s improving economy, but one challenge the ambassador is facing is in the US territory of the Bahamas.

The local government is localizing its workforce, putting the jobs of some one thousand Filipinos, mostly housekeepers, cooks, hotel employees and medical workers in jeopardy.

“We understand the policy objective of the Bahamas’ authorities to provide jobs to their own people and that’s a very legitimate reason for them to reduce the number of jobs for foreign workers,” said Cuisia.
The local Philippine consulate in the Bahamas has met with and made appeals to local officials asking to allow Filipino immigrants to continue working and the ambassador is hoping for an outcome that can favor the Filipino residents.

“I think the good thing is they have expressed an appreciation for the hard working Filipinos. They appreciate Filipino workers very much,” he added.

On the mainland Cuisia is also studying the recently proposed immigration reform bill which carries several proposals for guest workers programs, family petitions, and the legalization of undocumented immigrants. He’s looking to see how it could affect the estimated 4 million Filipinos in the US and their families back in the Philippines.

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