First Posted 14:56:00 06/08/2009
Filed Under: Asia Australia - North Asia, Overseas Employment, Diplomacy, Agreement (general), Labor
MANILA, Philippines—Despite being shaken by the global economic crunch, Korea is expected to hire 5,000 more Filipinos within the next 10 months after Labor Secretary Marianito Roque and his Korean counterpart Minister Lee Younghee recently signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Employment Permit System (EPS).
In a statement issued by the labor department, the memorandum was signed on May 30, and witnessed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak at the Blue House, venue of the bilateral meeting between the two leaders.
Under the new MOU, to ensure that the minimum standards set by the Philippine government such as free accommodation are met, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration may review contract offers of employers.
The pact also minimizes pre-departure cancellation of employment contracts and pre-termination of existing ones by disqualifying employers as well as workers with derogatory records.
Filipino workers will also continue to enjoy pension coverage pursuant to the National Pension Law and shall be entitled to equal treatment with that of Korean workers, including minimum wage and insurance protection.
Aside from the MOU on EPS, the two labor chiefs signed an MOU on Labor and Manpower Development which provides, among others, for the training of workers on-site to better prepare them for their eventual return to the Philippines. There will be exchanges too of trainers and experts and development of curricula to improve vocational education and training.
In a recent survey conducted by the Korea Labor Ministry, Filipinos ranked first in terms of ability to adopt to the Korean society and second in communication skills.
As of December 2007, there are an estimated 80,715 Filipinos in South Korea, 6,187 of whom permanent residents, 62,528 temporary, and 12,000 irregular