PH-Japan labor agreement to give OFWs better protection – Bishop

Published March 29, 2019, 11:07 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Christina Hermoso

A Roman Catholic Church leader cited the recent Philippine labor agreement with Japan “as a good way of providing better protection for our overseas Filipino workers.”

Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People cited the agreement as “very valuable and will definitely give better protection of blue-collar Filipino workers.”

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga. (CBCP / NICO BALBEDINA / MANILA BULLETIN)
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga

“With the labor deal with Japan, the world’s third largest economy for employment, our overseas Filipino workers to be hired will be truly guided and protected during recruitment and deployment,” Santos said in a CBCP News post.

“We are grateful and appreciative with their caring efforts to promote and safeguard our OFWs,” the bishop added.

The labor agreement, which was signed in Tokyo, Japan recently, provides the opportunity for Filipino workers of getting jobs in Japan under a new specified skills residency in the host country. The deal also seeks to strengthen cooperation between the two countries against illegal recruiters.

Santos said the deal was proof of the” trust Japan has for our skillful workers.”

“The hiring of specified skilled workers is also a recognition of the qualifications of our OFWs as highly knowledgeable, trustworthy, skilled, and dependable workers,” the prelate stressed.

Records show that as of June 2018, there were about 280,000 Filipinos residing and working in Japan, with around 34,000 working as professional and highly skilled workers.

The Department of Labor and Employment said Filipino workers may comprise at least 30 percent of some 350,000 jobs that Japan will offer to foreigners starting April 11.