Dole: Illegal OFWs in South Korea decline

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) on Thursday reported that the number of illegally staying overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in South Korea has gone down last year from 2012.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that from 30.6 percent in 2012, the number of illegally staying OFWs in Korea last year dropped to 22.7 percent.

"This is a good sign that our aggressive strategy of addressing the issue of illegal staying EPS workers in South Korea is bearing fruit," said Baldoz.

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Because of this, the Labor Secretary said they are now determined to bring the number at a lower level for this year from the present 8,247 illegally staying OFWs, whose Employment Permit System (EPS) have expired.

"The POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) is determined to reduce this number," said Baldoz.

As of March 31, the total number of OFWs, who have been deployed to Korea, is at 35,936.

For its part, the POEA said the continuous reduction of illegally staying OFWs would result to the possible increase of the EPS quota for the Philippines.

"While most of the sending countries under the EPS have received a reduced, the Philippines is an exception and this is, indeed, a good sign," said POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac in a statement.

"I have high hopes that our EPS quota will increase because our EPS performance has been consistently good," he added.

For this year, Cacdac said the "ceiling" for new OFWs to Korea under the EPS is 8,000, which 100 more than last year's quota.

South Korea's annual quota for foreign workers under the EPS is decided through comprehensive consideration on the rate of illegal stay of workers, among others.

Since 2004, the Philippines and Korea have renewed the EPS agreement three times already. (HDT/Sunnex)

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