File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it would be signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Japan in November to open jobs for Filipinos in private companies based there.
“Last week, we talked with the Ministry of Health and Labor and the Ministry of Justice in Japan. They are opening their markets for our skilled and semi-skilled workers. Apart form care workers, our nurses and caregivers, they will [also] accept the professionals,” Undersecretary Bernard Olalia said in Filipino during a press conference on Friday, Septmber 8.
The labor official said the new agreement would use a new deployment framework, allowing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be employed in private Japanese firms.
Previously, foreign individuals were only allowed to work for Japanese government institutions.
This has limited the Philippines' deployment to the Asian neighbor to 1,900 since 2009.
“Kapapasa lang noong kanilang amendment sa Japanese legislation. In-amend nila iyong provision nila for foreign workers in order to get and attract foreign nationals to work in Japan,” he said. (They have just passed their amendment to the Japanese legislation. They amended the provision covering foreign workers to get and attract foreign nationals to work in Japan.)
Job orders will be available soon after the signing of the MOU, Olalia clarified.
Direct hiring would still be prohibited under this new arrangement. OFWs would still have to go through private recruitment firms and pass through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Among the possible jobs to be opened in Japan are for nurses, engineers, and architects.
DOLE is eyeing this opportunity as a possible option for OFWs in South Korea that might be sent back home due to the increasing tension in the region as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un refuses to back down on his missile tests. (Rappler Talk: How North Korea's threat affects Filipinos living abroad)
Olalia said OFWs may opt to check opportunities for teachers and caregivers in China.
Labor Secretary SIlvestre Bello III, meanwhile, gave assurances the department is in constant communication with the officials in these countries, considering that Japan has also been threatened by the North Korean missile tests. (READ: PH slams North Korea for missile over Japan).
Citing DOLE statistics, Bello said that there are a little over 80,000 documented workers in South Korea. – Rappler.com