PRESS RELEASE NO. 36-2022
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 2 September 2022 –The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu and the Honolulu District Office, Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (DOL-WHD), co-organized an online briefing on the US H2B Visa Program last 1 September in a bid to further promote the well-being of Filipino workers in their jurisdiction. The H2B visa program allows non-immigrants to temporarily work in the US in non-agricultural sectors.
Representatives from the Philippine Consulates General in Agana, Los Angeles and San Francisco and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Los Angeles also participated in the activity. Attendees from the DOL-WHD also included officials from its Los Angeles and Agana district offices.
In his opening remarks, Consul General Emil Fernandez recalled his first meeting with Honolulu-based Department of Labor officials at the Consulate last April wherein they committed to strengthen cooperation through endeavors that will help support their respective agencies’ mandates.
“For the US Department of Labor, this is to enforce labor laws and standards. For the Philippine Consulates General, this is to safeguard the rights and ensure the welfare of overseas Filipinos, which is a pillar of Philippine foreign policy,” Consul General Fernandez said.
He also remarked on the timeliness of the online activity as the United States commemorates Labor Day on 5 September. “Around four million Filipinos in the United States, of which large numbers are in California, Hawaii and Guam, help spur our countries’ economies and enrich their relations. It therefore behooves our Foreign Service Posts to be educated on the host government’s policies and programs so we can more effectively and efficiently serve and assist our nationals. I am confident that the briefing will help us better understand the H2B visa program and see how we can support our respective agencies in educating workers, safeguarding their rights, preventing the occurrence of violations, and providing timely assistance wherever and whenever it is needed,” he said.
Mr. Ramon Huaracha Jr., Western Regional Immigration Coordinator of the Los Angeles District Office, DOL-WHD, served as resource person during the briefing. (END)
In the photo are (clockwise from the upper left), Mr. Herbert Lee, Community Outreach & Resource Planning Specialist, Honolulu District Office, DOL-WHD, Mr. Ramon Huaracha, Jr., Western Regional Immigration Coordinator, Los Angeles District Office, DOL-WHD, Consul General Emil Fernandez and Labor Attaché Marie Rose Escalada.
In the photo are (clockwise from the upper left), Mr. Lee, Deputy Consul General Raquel Solano of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, Mr. Huaracha and Consul General Patrick Hilado of the Philippine Consulate General in Agana.