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3 POLO staff given tribute as they head home

03 March 2019

The honorees with top Consulate and POLO officials.

The country’s top diplomats headed a farewell party held for three staff of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office who are set to leave Hong Kong after completing their three-year tour of duty.

Meditrina Chaneco, Sheila Navasquez and Josephine Villamor were emotional as colleagues led by Consul General Antonio Morales and Labor Attaché Jalilo dela Torre gave them a send-off party on Feb 24.

Also bidding them farewell were OFW friends and volunteers who help POLO and its sister-agency OWWA handle crowds and assist with livelihood trainings on Sundays.   

Labatt Dela Torre remarked that POLO Hong Kong would never be the same without the three who did their job satisfactorily.

“I am proud of their company. These three girls were very effective in their jobs,” He said. “Their posts here will be missed, especially, because of their dedication to their duties.”

He said no names had yet been provided for their replacements.

Congen Morales, in his message, cited the importance the Consulate attaches to its partners in the Labor Office.

“I’m sure it will never be the same after you leave. But, of course, it is our job to come and go. We are here, we have contributed to the accomplishment of the mission of our offices, of the Consulate in general,” he said.

He said such is the nature of overseas government service and that, “as we move on, we should make sure the lessons and perspectives and insights are applied in other posts”.

Chaneco was the POLO officer in charge of watchlisting abusive employers and receiving complaints against agencies. Both Navasquez and Villamor were assigned to agency contracts.

Unlike their colleagues from the Department of Foreign Affairs who have a six-year tour of duty overseas, POLO and OWWA staff, who are personnel of the Department of Labor and Employment, are assigned to foreign posts for three years.

Chaneco, Navasquez and Villamor arrived in Hong Kong in early 2016. “Halos kasabay ko silang dumating sa Hong Kong three years ago and maybe ako na ang susunod by March,” Labatt Dela Torre added in jest.

ConGen Morales, assisted by Consuls Roderico Atienza and Paulo V. Saret, gave each of the three ladies a certificate of appreciation and a gift.

The send-off ceremony was followed by a simple dinner and more farewell messages for the guests, plus lots of picture-taking. — With Rodelia Villar

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