via ABS-CBNnews.com – Thousands of Filipinos will have a chance to work in the manufacturing industry in South Korea despite the overall reduction in the number of newcomers allowed in the said sector, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
“This 2015 quota shows sustained demand for OFWs in the last three years in the Korean manufacturing sector,” said DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.
Labor Attache Felicitas Bay reported to Baldoz that the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) of South Korea has set this year’s ceiling of 4,600 for the Philippines in terms of new workers who will be allowed to work in the country’s manufacturing sector under the Employment Permit System (EPS).
“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 and respects both the Philippines and the host country’s labor rules and regulations” Baldoz said.
There is no ceiling for newcomer workers for all industries in South Korea other than manufacturing.
Baldoz said South Korea’s overall foreign workers quota in the manufacturing sector this 2015 is set at 42,400.
Of this number, 32,890 are apportioned for new entrants, while 9,510 are allocated to returning foreign workers. The total quota is divided among the sending countries based on employers’ preference, the rate of undocumented workers, and the country’s level of efficiency in managing the workforce.
The Philippines captured the 13.98 percent of the quota for new entrants allocated by the MOEL in the manufacturing sector.
“Last year, the quota for the Philippines was at 12.71 percent. In 2013, out of the 42,600 quota, we were given a total of 4,400 slots, or at 9.86 percent of the workforce allowed in the manufacturing industry,” Bay reported.
In 2013, the total Filipino EPS workers was at 20,632. Of this number, 6,548, or 32 percent, were undocumented. The total number of EPS workers rose to 23,948 in 2014, but the number of undocumented went down, by seven percent to 6,005.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office, according to Baldoz, is active in promoting workers’ return through its post-arrival orientation briefings, labor education sessions, and reintegration preparedness seminars for EPS workers.
Labor Attaché Bay said that the refinements in the EPS law, such as the EPS re-entry program, which implements the sincere workers’ law and the special EPS Test on Proficiency in Korean for returnees, encouraged EPS workers to leave Korea as they finished their sojourn since they will have the chance to re-enter or return to Korea subject to the re-entry requirements.
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