By CNN Philippines Staff, Feb 10, 2018
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 8) — Despite news that there were thousands of job opportunities available in China for Filipino workers, an official of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said they still need to get more information on the issue.
Speaking to CNN Philippines On the Record Thursday, POEA Deputy Administrator Joyce Sanchez said, “We have to study that very well, the packages and of course the bilateral agreements na well protected ang ating Filipino workers.
When asked what kinds of jobs would be available and which companies would be offering them, she said there was no information on that yet.
She said, “Tinitignan na merong prospective na trabaho sa China, but yung…ano yung mga trabaho hindi pa natin pwedeng sabihin kasi kailangan pa nating pag-aralan para wala nang naabuso na mga OFWs natin.”
[Translation: They are seeing that there are prospective jobs in China, but as to what these jobs are, we cannot say yet because we have to study them so that OFWs will no longer be abused.]
Representative Ron Salo, a member of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, said right now, the bilateral relations with China should be settled first.
“Iayos natin lahat, ilatag, para the moment na klaro na yang 300,000 na yan, deploy na agad tayo,” he said.
[Translation: Let’s fix everything first, so the moment that those 300,000 jobs are clear, we can deploy immediately.]
President Rodrigo Duterte said in January that he may reach out to China if foreign employers continue to abuse overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Give OFWs more info before working abroad
Shirley Yorong of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, said she hopes potential overseas Filipino workers (OFW) would be given more information on the situations surrounding foreign employment in other countries.
“Ito ang aming request…mahilig tayong magbenta na ”this X country is looking for 100,000 workers’ tapos ang range ng pay niya ay 50,000 to 100,000. Sana since mahirap ka e di ‘wow, ganoon kalaki, malaking tulong sa akin yan’…But in this country X, ganito na karami yung Pilipino na naabuso, umuwi na patay, napalitan yung kontrata…because this information is necessary for the person himself to decide,” she said.
[Translation: This is our request…we are fond of selling opportunities saying ‘X country is looking for 100,000 jobs’ and the pay is 50,000 to 100,000. If you’re poor, you’ll think, ‘wow, that’s a big amount, that will be a big help to me’…But in this country X, this is the number of Filipinos abused, killed, their contracts were changed…because this information is necessary for the person himself to decide.]
It would give a worker, she said, the option to weigh the options of a high salary to the potential danger of abuse or contract switching.
She also urged OFWs to get the proper documentation before getting jobs abroad.
Jerome Alcantara, policy director of the Blas Ople Policy Center, said, “In practical terms, pag documented ka, nagkaproblema ka, yung agency mo kaya kang i-pull out ka sa tabaho mo.”
[Translation: In practical terms, when you are documented and you run into a problem, your agency can pull you out of your job.]
He added that option is not available for undocumented workers.
Yorong said there were around 11 million documented Filipino workers abroad.
When asked how many were undocumented, she said the numbers might be double.