New Philippine Overseas Labor Office to open in Shanghai

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

To better serve overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it will soon set up five new Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), including the very first one in mainland China.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they are set to open five POLOs in Shanghai (China), Osaka (Japan), Berlin (Germany), Florida (USA), and Wellington (New Zealand).

“The numbers (of OFWs in these countries) are growing so we have to immediately consider putting up one (POLO) so they could help our people there,” Bello said in an interview.

“So, this is to better serve our OFWs based there,” he added.

According to the labor chief, there are now more Filipino seafarers in Japan and in the United States.

In Germany, the number of Filipino nurses and medical workers was expected to go up, Bello said.

Skilled and farm workers, he added, are also having a growing presence in New Zealand while China is preparing to recruit teachers from the Philippines, he added.

Bello said that there were an estimated 200,000 Filipinos working illegally in China while Manila and Beijing had agreed to the deployment of at least 2,000 Filipino English teachers to the mainland.

The two countries had also been negotiating the possible deployment of up to 300,000 OFWs, including domestic workers, to mainland China.

Bello said the POLOs shall be opened as soon as the manpower requirements are filled up.

“Hopefully, this year,” he added.

At present, there are 34 existing POLOs. These POLOs serve as the offices that implement policies and programs for OFWs in their respective jurisdictions.