PH-Japan labor cooperation pact signed
The governments of the Philippines and Japan on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) providing better protection on the recruitment and deployment of Filipino workers to be hired under a new specified skills residency in Japan.
The labor cooperation pact, signed in Tokyo by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Japanese Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita, aims to strengthen the cooperation of both countries in eliminating malicious intermediary organizations, known as illegal recruiters for the smooth facilitation of sending and accepting workers from the Philippines.
“Ensuring the welfare and security of our Filipino skilled workers is among the priorities of the government and this agreement is geared towards a more secure process of recruitment and deployment of specified skilled workers in Japan,” Bello said.
Bello has estimated that Filipino workers would corner at least 30 percent of the 350,000 available jobs Japan is opening to foreign workers effective April 11.
The memorandum seeks to establish a basic partnership framework for the “proper operation of the system pertaining to foreign human resources” with the status of residence of “specified skilled workers” who possess certain expertise and skills in certain job categories.
Among the specified skills include those in health care, building maintenance, food services, industrial machinery, electronics, food manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, construction, shipbuilding, fisheries and aquaculture, parts and tooling and aviation.
Under the agreement, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will serve as the country’s contact points in the processing and accreditation while the verification of skilled workers’ documents, coordination onsite and welfare concerns are under the supervision of Philippine Labor Overseas Labor Office (POLO) – Japan.
The necessary requirement to be hired as a specified skilled worker includes passing the skill level tests and Japanese proficiency, which will be administered by the Japan Foundation in the Philippines.
Workers who will be hired as specified skilled workers can stay in Japan for a maximum of five years under the Specified Skills No. 1 visa status and possible to receive Specified Skills No. 2 if the worker obtained a higher level of specialization.
As of June 2018, there are around 280,000 Filipinos residing and working in Japan of which 34,003 are professional and highly skilled workers.
Credits to: DOLE / Image by: Flying Ketchup