News Release

PBBM: PH proud of OFWs in Hungary

The Philippines is proud of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Hungary particularly their contribution to Hungarian society, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Thursday.

“We’re always very proud of our workers. And I’m glad that they are able to make a contribution to the daily life of Hungarians and not just the people that — not just within the insular Filipino community,” President Marcos told Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó during the latter’s courtesy call at the Malacañan Palace.

Szijjártó, for his part, told President Marcos that there’s a good reason for the country to be proud of the Filipinos living and working in Hungary.

“And you know, I had extremely positive feedback from the employers because you know, they respect their Filipino workers because they are very diligent, they are very disciplined, and you know they integrate very easily,” he said.

“So, I think that the fact that you know, we are a Christian nation, we have a Christian [status] for more than *one* thousand years now. So, Christianity, especially the Catholic Church plays an extremely important role in our life and since *the* most of your workers are believers,” he further noted.

As of December last year, there were around 16,098 Filipinos living and working in Hungary. They have been contributing to the local economy and culture of the country.

Majority are employed as automotive technicians, machine operators, drivers, forklift operators, operators, truck drivers, logistics professionals and hotel, farm, warehouse workers,

Some are employed by embassies, diplomats, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees *(UNCHR)* office in Budapest. There is also a growing number of Filipinos married to Hungarians.

Philippines-Hungary diplomatic relations were established on September 28, 1973. The two nations are celebrating the 50th anniversary of official bilateral relations .

In line with its foreign and trade policy direction of “Opening to the East,” Hungary reopened its embassy in Manila in 2016 after an absence of 21 years. It officially inaugurated its embassy on March 28, 2017.

In 2023, Hungary was the Philippines’ 46th trading partner, 30th export market, and 64th import source with total bilateral trade showing mixed performance over the last 10 years, and peaking in 2018 at US$213.5 million.

The Philippines’ total trade with Hungary reached US$173.8 million in 2023, declining by 7.5 percent compared to the previous year reflecting overall global slowdown in merchandise trade. | PND