PH corners 14% of new foreign workers in S. Korea factories

Buena Bernal
PH corners 14% of new foreign workers in S. Korea factories
Although there is an overall decrease in the number of new migrant workers South Korea allowed in the manufacturing industry, the Philippine share grows

MANILA, Philippines – Almost 14% of the state-imposed 2015 quota on new foreign workers in South Korean factories went to the Philippines, providing entrant Filipino migrant workers around 4,600 positions.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Wednesday, March 25, said overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) captured 13.98% of the 32,890 jobs ceiling for new foreign workers.

“This 2015 quota shows sustained demand for OFWs in the last 3 years in the Korean manufacturing sector,” Baldoz said.

The quota scheme in South Korea’s manufacturing sector is set by the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) under what is known as the Employment Permit System (EPS).

The scheme is limited to the mass-production industry and not applied in other industries in South Korea.

The ratio is determined by South Korean employers’ preference, the rate of undocumented workers from the said country, and its efficiency in managing the migrant workforce.

Baldoz said the “sustained demand” for OFWs in South Korean factories attest to the Philippine government’s efforts to curb the migration of irregular or undocumented OFWs. 

Only 7% of Filipino EPS workers in 2014 were undocumented, a considerable decrease from the 32% in 2013.

The Philippines is a known labor-sending country, with 10 million Filipinos overseas, either as permanent migrants or as temporary workers.

Still, President Benigno Aquino III envisions “a government that creates jobs at home so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity.” 

Filipinos in South Korea

Although there is an overall decrease in the number of new migrant workers MOEL allowed in the manufacturing industry, the Philippines’ share grew.

Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) said the 2014 quota for OFWs was at 12.71% compared to the 2013 quota of 9.86%. 

Baldoz thanked South Korea’s MOEL for the employment opportunities provided to Filipino workers. 

“We expect that this will become the trend that will harmonize with our efforts in continually advancing the credence of the Filipino workforce as globally competitive,” Baldoz said.

Overall, MOEL’s ceiling of foreign and not just Filipino workers in manufacturing is at 42,400 this 2015. New migrant workers will have 32,890 of this, and returning migrant workers will have the remaining 9,510.

The 2013 Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Compendium of Statistics shows that some 68,911 Filipinos are in South Korea either permanently residing there or temporarily working with or without documents.

South Korea is also among the top 10 destination countries of permanent Filipino migrants from 2004 to 2013.

The only Asian countries to make it to the list are South Korea and Japan. –


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