Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to advise 7,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to end their contracts in South Korea since they have been working there illegally, The Manila Times learned on Tuesday.
South Korea has an annual quota under a renewable contract of only 450 workers from the Philippines but Baldoz said Seoul may raise it to 500.
It allows Filipinos to work there for two years under the quota imposed since 2004.
The DOLE chief said there are 45,619 OFWs–including the 7,000 illegal ones–in South Korea as of January 27 this year.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office there said the Filipinos are employed in 6,692 workplaces in 17 provinces.
Baldoz said POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac has “committed to undertake several measures to decrease the number of overstaying Filipino workers” in South Korea.
According to Cacdac, these measures that would be carried out before April by the POEA include the holding of a language and culture training that will be handled by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the intensification of POEA’s information campaign during registration for the test of proficiency in the Korean language.
South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae Shin last week told Baldoz that her request to increase the quota of OFWs would be considered.
Seoul has adopted the Employment Permit System (EPS) to introduce non-professional foreign workers in its small and medium enterprise sector under a transparent and efficient process of selecting, sending and receiving foreign workers through a government-to-government arrangement.
“The EPS has become a global model for ethical, efficient and transparent recruitment that has benefited South Korea’s SMEs [small and medium enterprises]and its partner-countries and their workers. For the Philippines, Filipino workers have gained a lot of skills and competencies through the EPS. Many have improved their lives and secured their future,” Baldoz said.