The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) was swamped by over 200,000 aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) due to the announcement made by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) about the government-to-government agreement between the Philippines and South Korea.
The POEA has two divisions that would process the documents of the applicants—the pre-employment unit, accepts and process all applications and then notifies the pre-selected workers to take the Korean language proficiency test. The other unit prepares all the documents needed in the deployment of the selected worker. The selected worker has to pay P27, 000 for the processing fees and a one-way flight ticket to Korea.
The Korean language proficiency test dates, content of the proficiency test and the influence of the test scores on the selection are determined by the Korean labor ministry. Test centers in Metro manila are accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The salary offered is a minimum of $500 and it can goes up to $1, 000 including the overtime. The OFWs are protected by its labor laws and they can get the same benefits that are given to the native workers. The contract made by the POEA was approved by Koreas’ Ministry of Labor and it allows the worker to stay up to three year.
Filipinos will work particularly in the manufacturing and construction industry of Korea. And illegitimate Filipinos who have worked in Korea will be given a chance and preferential treatment if they are voluntarily left for the Philippines by the end of February 2004.
The POEA reminded that the applicants should deal directly with the government agency. According to Administrator Rosalinda Baldoz of POEA, there are no private recruiters involved in the agreement. She cited a case in which recruiter claims that the applicants can work abroad and collected an average of P100, 000 from applicants for the approval of their application. She also said that the truth is those recruiters are not even seen in the premises of the POEA.
This article was first published in www.ofwguide.com on February 15, 2006
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