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Bello weighing 4 bets for labor attaché post

08 August 2019



By Vir B. Lumicao

Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has reportedly narrowed down his choices for the post recently vacated by Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre.

Word filtering from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Hong Kong indicates that Bello is considering four candidates, although no date has been set for naming his final choice.

Polo officer-in-charge Antonio Villafuerte said the four people being mentioned are: former labor attaché in Macau Ramon Pastrana, and incumbents Nasser Munder in Jeddah, Cesar Chavez at the Manila Economic and Cultural Office Labor Center in Taipei, and Fidel Macauyag at the MECO-Taichung Extension Office.

Image result for fidel macauyag photo
Macauyag, CDO's  former top prosecutor, is said to be Bello's first choice, but he has a pending case
It may be a tough call, as all four candidates are known to have either a checkered work history, insufficient experience, or unsuitable temperament.  

Top of the list is said to be Macauyag, a lawyer who was former labor attaché to Jeddah before his posting to Taichung, the second largest city of Taiwan.
He was with the Office of the Prosecutor General before he was named as one of the eight new attaches of the Department of Labor and Employment in 2017. Previously, he worked for nine years as city prosecutor of Cagayan de Oro City.

“I hear Macauyag has his foot inside the door,” a source told The SUN. But he added that there could be a problem because the candidate has a pending case before the Ombudsman, which could be why he was moved to Taichung.
The source explained that officials assigned to Taiwan need no Ombudsman clearance as it is officially not a diplomatic post but a trade and cultural office, as the Philippines recognizes Taiwan as part of China.

Another candidate, Munder, is reportedly known among his colleagues in the Middle East as being too friendly with employment agencies, and “would be like fish out of the water” if deployed to Hong Kong. He would surely be targeted by worker advocates if he is moved here.
As for Pastrana, he is widely regarded as not being experienced enough for Hong Kong, where there are more than 200,000 Filipino migrant workers, compared with just about a fourth of this figure in Macau, where he was previously posted.

Chavez, on the other hand, is said to be “too headstrong and too full of himself,” despite having enough experience.

Whoever is selected will surely face an acid test in Hong Kong, as he will be succeeding a well-regarded, highly experienced and hardworking labor attaché.
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