The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Friday said new overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan, particularly caretakers and domestic workers, will receive higher wages.
In a press conference, DMW Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople said the wages for foreign workers will increase from NT$17,000 to NT$20,000 or from P31,000 to P37,000.
“Good news din na nagtaas ng suweldo sa Taiwan for caretakers and domestic workers na new hires. Ito yung tatlong category: new hires, transferred workers, and re-hired workers,” she said.
(The wage for caretakers and domestic helpers has been increased in Taiwan for new hires. These are the three categories: new hires, transferred workers, and re-hired workers.)
Ople said there is an appeal to also include existing foreign workers in the wage increase.
According to the department, 25,867 of the 147,940 OFWs in Taiwan are domestic workers and caretakers.
Business as usual
In the same press conference, Ople said OFWs in Taiwan are back to “business as usual” after China halted its military drills in Taiwan.
Ople added that Philippine Labor Attaché David Des Dicang had talked to 30 of the 49 OFWs in Kinmen Island, which is six kilometers away from Xiamen, mainland China and 300 km from Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
According to her, the OFWs are safe and under the care of their employers.
China started its military drill after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a visit to Taiwan, which China claims as its breakaway province.
Repatriation from Macau
Meanwhile, Ople said that a group of OFWs in Macau will be repatriated on September 2.
“Merong inaayos na special flight para sa ating OFWs. Itong kanilang upuan ay babayaran ng kanilang mga employers. Ito ay naka-schedule sa September 2,” she said.
(A special flight is being arranged for our OFWs. The fare will be shouldered by their employers. It is scheduled on September 2.)
Ople said that Macau has reopened its public services and entertainment facilities and allowed dining-in at restaurants starting August 2. No new COVID-19 cases in Macau for the past 14 days, she added.
POLO-Macau reported to the DMW that it has delivered 824 care packages and released supermarket vouchers to 8,319 OFW beneficiaries.
The supermarket vouchers are worth 400MOP (Macau Patacas) or the equivalent to US$50. Around 70 OFWs who tested positive for COVID-19 also received US$200 as financial assistance, she added.
There are 26,043 Filipino workers in Macau, according to DMW. Most of them are in domestic work.
Trip to Saudi Arabia
Also during the press conference, Ople said she has accepted an invitation from Saudi Arabia's Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmad bin Sulaiman AlRajhi to visit the country and explore potential benefits.
“We are announcing that we have accepted, we are actually looking forward to that official visit of mine to Saudi Arabia,” she said.
In November 2021, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) imposed a deployment ban in Saudi Arabia due to unpaid salaries of OFWs. The ban has yet to be lifted as of this posting. —KBK, GMA News