The “economic diplomacy” between Negros Occidental and Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia, is beginning to bear fruit, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said yesterday.
Honorary Consul John Rivas of the Philippine Consulate in the Northern Territory had led a diplomatic mission to Negros Occidental that met with Marañon last year to discuss employment opportunities for Negrenses in Australia.
As a result of this, Marañon said skilled workers from Negros Occidental, assisted by the provincial government’s Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center to ensure that they pass the International English Language Testing System requirement, are headed for Darwin this weekend.
The five who are headed for Darwin are Calvin Chavez of Murcia, Ricardo Cubian of Bago City, Stanley Michael Saturnino of Hinigaran, Fulton Jiles Garrucho of Hinobaan and Sabino Habaradas of Talisay City, who met with the governor yesterday to thank him for helping them land jobs in Darwin.
They will work as glaciers who install glass and aluminum windows, panels and doors, and will be paid 51,457 Australian dollars a year, or a little over P2 million, the governor said.
They did not have to pay any placement fees since they were directly hired by their employers, Saturnino, 43 and a father of two, said.
And, after a year, if their employers are happy with their work, they will sponsor them in bringing their families to Darwin, he added.
Their contracts are renewable, with the option of staying in Darwin permanently, the governor said.
Garrucho, 35, said they are thankful to the provincial government’s NOLITIC for providing them with the training to pass the IELTS, which is a requirement for landing a job in Darwin.
Cubian, 35, who has two children; Chavez, 39, who has three; and Habaradas, 43, who also has three, said they are very happy and thankful to the provincial government for giving them the opportunity to go to Darwin as that will be a big help to their families.
Saturnino said it is Consul Rivas who looks for the employers in Darwin and Marañon who searches for skilled workers to send there.
One skilled worker left for Darwin two weeks ago, and a third batch is also set to leave soon, also through the help of NOLITC, its head, Tina Orbecido, said.*CPG