Baldoz lauds MECO Labor Centers in Taiwan for providing worker-protective mechanisms to OFWs

Date Posted: November 7th, 2014 05:38 AM


Baldoz lauds MECO Labor Centers in Taiwan for providing worker-protective mechanisms to OFWs Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has lauded the efforts of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Labor Centers in Taiwan in enhancing the protection of overseas Filipino workers in that country through worker-protective policy reforms. “Given the evolution of Taiwanese labor policies for migrant workers our MECO Labor Centers in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohshiung have been working hard to implement worker-protective mechanisms, as well as training and skills development programs to provide migrant workers options and leverages to improve their choices for their future,” said Baldoz. Baldoz’s commendation came after Undersecretary Reydeluz D. Conferido reported that although the labor market in Taiwan provides better work opportunities for overseas Filipino workers, the MECO Labor Centers still receive complaints, particularly on excessive placement and other fees collected from workers applying for jobs in the said country. “Realizing the various aspects and dynamics of recruitment practices in Taiwan, the MECO Labor Centers employ various policy responses to address the situation. These includes the establishment of open communication channel with Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor and the institution of mechanisms through which OFWs can access information about their rights, redress of grievances, and protection from abuse,” Baldoz explained. In his report, Conferido, who was coordinating labor representative of the MECO Labor Centers, before he was appointed undersecretary, summarized the policy responses as follows: promotion of Special Hiring Program for Taiwan (SHPT), the government-mediated, direct hiring system that provides hiring option that do not use a broker or recruiter, thereby reducing costs of recruitment and deployment for both workers and employers; linkages with various non-government organization, faith-based organizations, community organizations, and representatives from labor-sending countries to articulate issues and options for reforms; partnership with the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau of Taiwan and local brigades of the Ministry of Interior to build-up human trafficking cases against operators of systematic recruitment and lending and collection of excessive fees schemes to discourage illegal practices; and awareness-raising on inherent and bargaining leverages of Philippine Recruitment Agencies to improve businesses by implementing the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s policy on the maintenance of foreign recruitment agencies of two PRAs at any given time. Conferido also reported that the MECO Labor Centers have instituted one-on-one interviews with representatives of Taiwanese brokers to explain labor policies on illegal recruitment; suspension of documentary processing of agencies, brokers, and employers who do not respond to workers’ complaints; and continuous education of Filipino workers on their rights and obligations. “The MECO Labor Centers have been relentless in bringing up the challenges for reform to the Taiwanese government, so that Filipino migrant workers may enjoy fair, more transparent, and sustainable terms and conditions of employement, and so that Taiwan could be a model for other labor receiving countries,” said Conferido in his report. By helping create an environment conducive to labor reforms, Conferido said OFWs have benefitted, such as in terms of increased minimum wages from NT$17,880 (P26,371.03) in 2011; to NT$18,780 (P27,698.43) in 2013; to NT$19,047 (P28,092.23) in 2013; and NT$19,273 (P28,425.55) in 2014. The MECO Labor Centers also facilitated the return of the excess placement collections amounting to NT$23.96 million (P35.34 million) in 2012; NT$29.18 million (P43 million) in 2012; and NT$104 million (P153.39 million) in 2013 to OFWs. The Center has also provided entrepreneurial trainings to 4,498 OFWs in 2011; 6,433 OFWs in 2012; and 11,079 in 2013. End/letmaring

Created Nov 10th 2014, 13:10


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