Korea needs Pinoy workers

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010


KOREA needs more Filipino workers, an official from the Human Resource Department (HRD) Korea Employment Permission System (EPS) Center in the Philippines announced last Tuesday.

HRD Korea EPS Center in the Philippines general director Choi Seung Ho said the allocation for Filipino workers in Korea for this year is 10,100. The openings are in industries like manufacturing, construction, service, agriculture and fishing.

He said the allotment for Filipino workers increased compared with that for other countries. Choi said workers from the Philippines ranked second after those from Vietnam in Korean employers’ preference.

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Productivity

Korean employers prefer to hire Filipinos because of their communication ability, high labor productivity and sociability, Ho said.

Choi said 24,000 Filipinos now work in Korea. Of the number, 80 percent work in manufacturing, 15 percent in construction, five percent in agriculture and the rest in the fisheries sector.

Choi was in Cebu to invite Cebuanos to apply for work in Korea.

“I came here to assist interested Filipino workers who might want to work in Korea and also to prevent unnecessary damage caused by illegal recruitment,” Choi said in a press conference at the University of Cebu-Banilad, which is owned by South Korea
Honorary Consul Augusto Go.

Choi said there is no difference in the salary of Korean and foreign workers as Filipinos may earn as much as $770 per month for an eight-hour workday.

The minimum wage in Korea this year is 4,110 won or about P160 an hour. Aside from the high salary, Choi said foreign workers will also enjoy benefits such as security and health insurance.

Choi said Filipinos can work under a three-year contract but can extend for another year and 10 months in case the employer wants the foreign worker to keep working in the company.

Upon landing a job in Korea, Choi also said all foreign workers will be treated the same way with Korean workers.

“There is no discrimination with foreign workers,” Choi said. He said foreign workers have the same rights as Korean employees.

Assistance

HRD Korea assists companies by providing them with qualified workers. It also helps these workers process the employment and settle in Korea.

Choi said they also run a voluntary home country program to help foreign workers go back to their own country legally and safely.

He said they will also help Filipino workers upon return from Korea to also land jobs
in Korean companies in the country where their skills are required. They will also help returnees have their own businesses by providing them training.

But for a Filipino to land a job in Korea, Choi said that they should pass the Korean Language Test. This requirement is on top of the other considerations like fitness and absence of criminal records.

Choi said there was a good turnout in their May 2 exam when 2,755 of 6,500 applicants passed the test. He said, however, that they only got 625 applications from Cebu, which he blamed on low information dissemination.

To address the low turnout of Cebu applicants, Go said he is offering the UC facility to conduct Korean lessons for Cebuanos. He asked the Cebu Korean Association Inc. to provide a Korean teacher to help interested Filipino workers learn the language.

Another Korean Proficiency Test is set to be conducted on Nov. 14 in Manila and other big cities in the country, including Cebu. He said the exams have 10,669 applicants.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2010.

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