China labor market eyed for Filipino workers

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Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre

PHILIPPINE labor officials are looking into the possibility of opening the labor market and sending Filipino workers to China.

Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre confirmed to Hong Kong News he has submitted recommendations to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III about the possibility of allowing Filipinos to seek employment in China.

“The welfare and protection mechanisms have to be there. You cannot just willy-nilly go into the labor market without examining the labor market conditions, and the first requirement would be

the certification from the Department of Foreign Affairs that says it is a compliant country,” Dela Torre said.

This certification would state the country is a safe destination for OFWs, it has laws protecting migrant workers, and labor conditions are good.

Should there be an agreement, Dela Torre said this would mean high-skilled and low-skilled Filipino workers could soon go to China and be employed there.

Those who may find work are the engineers, tutors, nurses, and household service workers. Presently, there are Filipino engineers in China.

“There are labor opportunities in China and we should at least look at those before we make any decision to open the labor market formally,” said Dela Torre.

He said the inputs were submitted to Bello some three months ago.

“There were inquiries from (employment) agencies [about the China labor market]. But it is not my call, it is the Secretary’s call,” he added.

Dela Torre, meanwhile, said there are still unconfirmed reports a delegation from the DOLE in Manila will be meeting with their counterparts in Beijing soon.

Meanwhile, Dela Torre reminded Filipinos here in Hong Kong to be wary of third-country deployment, adding the DOLE has yet to verify job offers for Brazil.

“Third-country deployment is illegal and prohibited under our laws. Hindi din verified ng POLO ang job orders doon. The fact na may isa o dalawang nakapunta sa kung saan does not mean safe na iyan. Hindi pa natin nainterview ang mga nakapunta doon kung ano ang pinagdaanan nila. This is dangerous,” he said.

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