By Monsi A. Serrano
German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel, together with other embassy officials gave a rundown of Germany’s priority development plans for the Philippines.
Speaking before the media on September 20 at the Ballroom of the Raffles Hotel Makati, Ambassador Reiffenstuel mentioned ongoing programs including cooperation include peacebuilding in Mindanao, climate change, energy transition and environmental protection, health, rules-based maritime order, humanitarian assistance after national disasters, and human right.
The German engagement in Mindanao will focus on peace-building and conflict transformation in wider areas. Along with this is the peace-building and stabilization of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), as well as other regional challenges like humanitarian aid, health, human rights and violence against women, children, and indigenous people, among others.
Ambassador Reiffenstuel also noted that there will also be some engagement in addressing climate change and culture and livelihood programs.
The lady envoy also discussed the German Engagement for Health Global Skills Initiative. Corollary to this is the deployment of Filipino healthcare professionals to Germany which she called a big success story. She also noted that Filipino nurses will be the top priority of the German government to hire.
Interestingly, there are more than 2,000 Filipino healthcare professionals are vying for employment in Germany and the government plans to address the recruitment in a sustainable way via two tracks system, called “Triple Win” and Private Sectors. By “triple win”, it means that the pressure on labor markets in the countries of origin is reduced. Second, remittances from migrants provide a boost to development in their home country. And last but not the least, this also results in addressing the shortage of nurses in Germany.
All nurses who will be deployed to Germany are required to be proficient in the German language. Reiffenstuel underscored that in hiring Filipino nurses the German government adheres to international labor standards and fair pay, apart from an opportunity to develop individual careers and a chance to be a permanent resident in the process after complying with the residency requirements.
There are many other priority development programs for the Philippines’ growth and development that the German embassy officials revealed, these include cultural and scientific cooperation, economic priorities, gender mainstreaming, and women empowerment.