By Roy Mabasa
Reports about the impending deployment of Filipino household workers to Russia is not true, an official of the Russian embassy in Manila said Tuesday.
“I heard (in the news) that some kind of labor agreement will be signed, it’s not true,” Natalia Linovitskaya, press attaché of the Russian embassy in the Philippines said during her visit at the Manila Bulletin office in Intramuros.
The Russian official said although the proposed deployment of OFWs is under consideration, such an agreement would need “expert consultations” before a document could even be signed.
On Monday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced that the Philippines and Russia are set to sign a labor agreement during President Duterte’s working visit to Moscow next month.
“Maybe, he (Bello) just announced it that we are open to (having) a labor agreement, we are beginning to talk. They will have an expert consultation on this agreement but they will not sign it,” the Russin press attaché said.
She pointed out that such an agreement is “not yet ready” at the moment and the documents pertaining to labor are under consideration under the agencies of the two countries.
Linotvistkaya said Manila and Moscow are expected to sign at least five agreements on health, nuclear energy, and “some political frameworks.”
She further clarified that there is “no time” to conclude an agreement on military cooperation since negotiations are still underway.
This is the second time that Duterte will visit Russia after he cut short his trip in May 2017, following the outbreak of the Marawi siege.