DOLE signs MOC with Japan to Provide Jobs and Protect Skilled OFWs

DOLE signs MOC with Japan to Provide Jobs and Protect Skilled OFWs

On March 22, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reached an agreement with the government of Japan through Department Order (DO) 201-19 in a bid to establish guidelines for the proper deployment of OFWs to Japan.

Signed in Tokyo by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Japanese Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita, the “Labor Cooperation Pact” aims to create a structure able to render the “proper operation of the system pertaining to foreign human resources” while strengthening the efforts of both countries in combating illegal recruiters and expediting the recruitment and acceptance of OFWs in Japan.

Effective April 11, 2019, Japan will open 350,000 available jobs to foreign workers from around the world. Bello states that OFWs will cover 30% of the job openings. As of June 2018, a total of 280,000 Filipinos reside and work in Japan, with 34,003 individuals considered as professional and highly skilled workers.

The Department Order 201-19 outlines the list of industries covered by the memorandum with the following Japanese ministries: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare, and the National Police Agency.

It also identifies the industries provided by the “Basic Policy on Operation of the System of the Status of Residence of ‘Specified Skilled Worker,’” such as:

  • Industrial Machinery;
  • Aviation;
  • Construction;
  • Agriculture;
  • Food Service; and
  • Fishery and Aquaculture.

What is a Specified Skilled Worker?

“Specified Skilled Worker” refers to individuals who are deployed to Japan under the identified occupational categories allowed under the status of residence of the same name. There are two levels of specified skilled workers, namely Specified Skilled Worker (i) and Specified Skilled Worker (ii).

The qualifications for both levels are as follows:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age; and
  • Must possess proof or evaluation of their skills and knowledge in their desired occupation.

However, immigrants classified as Specified Skilled Worker (i) must have an excellent command of the Japanese language. Also, both must own a passport valid for six months before the intended date of departure.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will provide the names of all authorized recruitment agencies and organizations licensed to recruit and place specified skilled workers in Japan.

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