BY ALEX P. VIDAL
No other Filipino based in Canada has done what Cleo “Cleigh” Dimayuga is doing for her fellow Filipinos in the Philippines, especially to nurses, among other health workers, wishing to work in Canada.
Dimayuga, 35, of Dingle, Iloilo, has made it as her “personal advocacy” the campaign to raise Filipino nurses to become landed immigrants in Quebec.
A board member of the AAFQ AAFQ-Association des aides familiales du Québec, Dimayuga said, “I don’t like to see them (nurses) land in Canada as caregivers but as landed immigrants.”
Dimayuga, who has been with the Canadim-Canadian Immigration Law Firm since June this year as immigration specialist, said landed immigrants are equivalent to green card holders in the United States.
“Landed immigrants have the same privileges as Canadian citizens, except to vote,” Dimayuga explained. “I am serious and committed to my campaign in this program because nobody knows when will this program last.”
A product of St. Paul University College of Arts and Mass Communications batch 1997, “Paulinian” Dimayuga has linked with immigration law firm Dery and Associates and conducts free evaluation for nurses intending to work and migrate to Quebec.
Dimayuga holds free evaluation and does not charge a single centavo from applicants “because I am motivated to help and I am offering a lifetime investment for Filipino nurses and their family,” Dimayuga told this writer in an exclusive interview at the Starbucks Coffee last September 30.
Dimayuga said her campaign focuses primarily to help fast-track permanent residency for applicants based on the Quebec Skilled Worker Category where basic French conversational language is one of the requirements, and with no board examination and no show money needed.
Since arriving in the Philippines in July this year, Dimayuga and the two immigration lawyers Renaud Dery and Richard Dery, have conducted 17 seminars in hospitals and nursing schools in Metro Manila, Iloilo, Roxas City, and Bacolod City where they were assisted by seminar organizer, Dr. Chris Sorongon. They received invitations to conduct seminars in the towns of Pototan and Zarraga, including Passi City where Dimayuga said she was assured support by no less than Iloilo Division Schools Superintendent Raymundo Lapating.
The program offered through the Quebec Skilled Worker Category started in 2009 and was promoted only by immigration agencies. “No single Filipino has so far raised this program for Filipino nurses, and I feel this is the right time for me to make this as my personal advocacy,” Dimayuga said.
They first introduced the program last July 17 in Montreal in a dinner with 400 members of the Filipino community and in “Fiesta sa Nayon” attended by 5,000 people.
She said while doing the seminars in various places in Metro Manila and in Western Visayas, Dimayuga noticed that most of the hotel receptionists were nursing graduates and board passers.
Public service has been in the Dimayuga blood, she surmised. Her father, Jose Arroyo Dimayuga Sr. is a retired Napocor employee; and her mother, Dorothea Dayot Laguting-Dimayuga, is an elected village chief for 20 years.
Her two brothers are Jay Dimayuga, a computer engineer; and Jose Dimayuga Jr., an aeronautical engineer. Her only sister Joy Dimayuga-Estrada is a nurse.
Dimayugas’s only daughter is KC Korine Cleighne Dimayuga- Tingzon, 13, is studying at the Creative Mind International School.