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Filipinos preferred under Japan’s new special worker program

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OFW
PHILSTAR

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said Filipino workers covered by a new bilateral agreement with Japan for workers with specialized skills are assured of better pay because of Japan has decided to extend preferential treatment for workers from the Philippines.

DoLE said in a statement on Thursday: “Filipinos who will work in Japan under its new specified skilled worker residency law will receive pay equivalent to or even better than that their local counterparts.”

On March 19, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Japanese government, specifically the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, Health, Labor and Welfare and the National Police Agency.

The agreement reserves for Filipinos about 30% of the 350,000 jobs available under Japan’s new immigration law, which will admit workers with in-demand skills in 14 industries. They will be deployed under two categories: Specified Skilled Worker (i), who will be allowed to stay for a maximum of five years in Japan; and Specified Skilled Worker (ii) whose tenure is subject to a contract period, plus extensions.

The law will take effect on Monday, April 1, at the start of Japan’s new fiscal year.

Mr. Bello said Thursday that the Philippines was the first country Japan signed a memorandum with regarding the new law because of Tokyo’s high regard for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).




“This is why we are very thankful to the government of Japan. Aside from giving preferential treatment to Filipino workers for the requirements of their industries, our workers are assured of better benefits,” he said.

Other countries that Japan is in the process of signing similar memoranda with are Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Mongolia and India. — Gillian M. Cortez