by Ruel F. Pepa
The ICCEC Cathedral of St John The Apostle in Madrid, Spain is always conscious of its commitment to the Filipino community located right at the center of the city of Madrid. These Filipinos are generally overseas workers who have been employed in different areas of income-generating endeavors as main breadwinners of their families not only here in Spain but mostly in the Philippines. These are hardworking immigrants who left their home country in search of greener pastures abroad.
As a fitting service in recognition of their sacrifices and dedication to give their families a decent life, the Charismatic Episcopal church in Madrid sponsored a legal consultation assembly for open discussion dubbed as “Legal Awareness Forum” on 11 June 2023 from 13:00 to 14:30 at the Colegio Salesiano Estrecho located at Calle Fernando Ossorio 10, Madrid. This forum was designed to address legal issues pertaining to labor and employment matters with an aim to facilitate attendees to have a better understanding of their conditions with particular emphasis on their legal rights and privileges as employees in relation with their employers and the work environments where they operate.
The forum was focused on issues of:
- The Spanish Immigration Laws that cover “Residencia,” “Arraigo Social,” and
- Pensions and Retirement (“Pensiones y Jubinaciones”)
- The Spanish Labor and Employment Law that covers “Servicio Domestico,”
“Hosteleria y Restauracion”
The forum was ably facilitated by legal experts in labor and employment; retirement and pension; residency authorization for temporary residency due to extraordinary circumstances; and citizenship. Among these luminaries were:
Don Francisco “Paco” Aziz, International Legal Adviser
Atty Oscar Gomara Romero, Immigration Lawyer
Atty Bianca Patricia Bonoan, Filipina Lawyer
Don Eloy Martin, Representative of the Asociacion Provincial de Mayores y Pensionistas (Madrid)
Don Daniel Pezuela Ruiz, Secretary of the Sindicato Sectorial de Hosteleria y Restauracion Social de UGT FeSMC Madrid
It was a well-attended, “standing-room-only” consultation forum wherein worthwhile concerns, no-nonsense problems, critical questions, and serious-minded dilemmas were professionally tackled by the legal experts who sympathetically rendered their most appreciated services “pro bono”. The Cathedral of St John the Apostle in Madrid under the rectorship of His Grace, the Rev. Jose Elmer Belmonte, CEC Bishop of Europe, warmheartedly expressed its deep gratitude to these legal professionals who magnanimously partnered with the church to effect its holistic commitment to spiritual and social concerns.