Japan eyes same wages for RP, Japanese nurses

56527650.jpgThe Japanese government is proposing a uniform wage scheme for Filipino and Japanese nurses and caregivers, Japan news agency Kyodo reported Wednesday.

Kyodo said that Labor Ministry officials are set to finish the guideline before accepting some 400 nurses and 600 caregivers from the Philippines under the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) that was signed in September 2006.

“The guideline is intended to prevent the Filipinos from having to work under unfair labor conditions,” the report said.

Today, trainees from foreign countries get lower pay compared with their Japanese counterparts, especially in the machinery and agriculture industries.

The Japan International Corp. of Welfare Services, a body attached to the labor ministry, will serve as an office to match Filipinos willing to work in Japan with Japanese hospitals and welfare facilities that want to hire them, the report quoting the draft said.

“As to the case of hiring Filipino caregivers, in principle, the employers would have to be care insurance facilities, such as special elderly nursing homes, with more than 40 percent of regular workers possessing a national care worker license,” it added.

The draft guideline does not allow Filipinos to provide home-care services as it would be difficult for the government to monitor their working conditions, the report said.

Filipino medical workers are required to undergo a six-month language training program and to take Japan’s state board exam.

However, the proposed salary scheme cannot be enforced unless the Philippine Senate ratifies the JPEPA.

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