DoLE to sign labor deal with Japan for at least 100,000 specialized jobs

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Silvestre H. Bello III

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it will sign an agreement with Japan on Tuesday that could result in at least 100,000 workers with specialized skills, including caregivers.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said that he will fly to Japan to sign a new bilateral following the adoption of a new immigration policy for foreign workers. The memorandum of cooperation will be between DoLE and Japan’s Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, Health, Labor and Welfare and the National Police Agency.

“Signing will be on the 19th,” he told reporters.

The new immigration policy will take effect next month, which marks the start of Japan’s fiscal year. New work visas will be issued under the category “Specified Skilled Worker.”

The 14 specified sectors prioritized by the new policy are care workers; building management specialists; machine parts and tooling craftsmen; industrial machinery operators; workers in the electrical, electronics, and information sector; construction workers; ship building and ship machinery workers; auto repair and maintenance workers; aviation workers; accommodations specialists; agriculture workers; fisheries and aquaculture workers; food and beverage manufacturing specialists; and food service workers.

The agreement between Japan and DoLE makes available a substantial share of the 350,000 available jobs under the new law, with Filipinos considered a preferred nationality for the program.

In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Bello said: “This agreement, aside from providing better opportunities, is geared toward ensuring their protection by means of implementing a basic framework that will promote smooth and proper mechanisms in sending, accepting, and residence management of incoming specified skilled workers in Japan,” he said. — Gillian M. Cortez