Korean Embassy in PH says SoKor gov’t to discuss situation of ‘stranded’ Pinoy EPS workers

Published June 22, 2021, 3:10 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Korean government will discuss with government agencies the situation of Filipino workers qualified to work under the Employment Permit System (EPS) but have been unable to go to South Korea due to travel and health restrictions under the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Filipino EPS workers during a skills training in South Korea (Gennie Kim)

The Korean Embassy in the Philippines suspended the issuance of E-9 or non-professional employment visa starting in June 2020 because of the pandemic.

Manila Bulletin learned that passports of Filipino EPS workers, who have already received their Certificate for Confirmation of Visa Issuance (CCVI), are pending at the embassy.

Some Korean employers have also cancelled the contracts of EPS workers who are “stranded” in the Philippines because of the suspension of visa issuance.

The EPS is a government-to-government employment program between South Korea and the Philippines. It “allows employers who have failed to hire local workforce, to legally employ foreign workers,” according to the EPS website.

Once a potential worker passes qualifications based on score in the EPS-TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean), skills test and work experience and is selected, Korean employers apply for CCVI and send them to the Philippines.

Filipino workers who have been issued CCVI apply for E-9 visa at the Korean embassy, which they use to enter South Korea.

The Korean Embassy in the Philippines told Manila Bulletin that “given the COVID-19 situations in Korea and the Philippines, visa issuance for E-9 has been suspended since June 2020.”

“As you may imagine, this pandemic has made it very difficult so many things operate as usual, including EPS. Despite the current challenges, however, the Korean government will continue to discuss with the relevant government agencies in Korea over this issue, while monitoring closely changes in the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine conditions,” the embassy added.