The Philippine Embassy in Warsaw organized a seminar for the Filipino community entitled, “Avoiding the Hazards of Labor Migration for Women – A forum to raise awareness on employee rights and human trafficking” on 23 August 2014 at the Embassy’s Consular Section.

The forum was organized to update the Filipino community in Poland on the various provisions of the New Act on Foreigners which was signed by President Bronislaw Komorowski on 27 December 2013 and took effect on 01 May 2014.

Four (4) distinguished speakers from the Polish government and non-government sector included Mr. Tomasz Cytrynowicz of the Department of Legalization of Stay, Office of Foreigners, Mr. Jaroslaw Cichon of the Legality of Employment Department, National Labor Inspectorate, Mr. Juliusz Karpinski of the Migration Policy Department, Ministry of the Interior, and Ms. Joana Garnier of La Strada Foundation.

Under the new law, many rules and procedures for legalization of stay of foreigners have been simplified such as the extension of period of coverage of a temporary residence permit from two to three years, introduction of a uniform procedure for obtaining a single residence and work permit, abolition of the 45-day period for applying for a temporary residence permit, and the establishment of a system of non-custodial measures applied to foreigners who stay in Poland illegally.

Foreigners can now submit a new application for single residence and work permit before the last day of legal stay in Poland. In the event of denial of application for legalization of stay, the foreigner has 30 days to leave Poland legally without any negative consequences normally associated with illegal stay.

In order for the Polish government to act swiftly on cases, the speakers enjoined the Filipino community in attendance to report such activities without fear to the police authorities, the Polish Border Guard (Straz Graniczna), or the Ministry of Interior.

An open forum was held after the discussions followed by a salu-salo for the participants and guests.

A total of 27 members of the Filipino community attended the one-day forum.