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Pinoy Abroad

Over 80 Japanese employers eye hiring Pinoy skilled workers —Ople

More than 80 Japanese employers are keen on hiring Filipino skilled workers, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said on Thursday.

“The general sentiment among Japanese employers was that Filipino workers brightened up their workplaces and were highly reliable and trainable,” said DMW Secretary Susan Ople in a news release, adding that the employers prefer having more Filipino workers in their companies.

Ople issued the statement after having a consultation meeting with Japanese employers organized by the Migrant Workers Office in Osaka. She is part of the Philippine delegation in Japan for President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s working visit there.

The DMW head said a Japan desk would be created in the Office of the Secretary to fast-track the needs of both Japanese employers and Filipino trainees.

“We want to build stronger relations with Japanese employers and the Japanese government so that the Philippines can be the number one source of skilled workers in Japan,” Ople said.

After the meeting, a dialogue with workers employed in Japan, under the Technical Internship Training Program (TITP) and Special Skilled Worker (SSW) programs, took place.

Filipino workers then gave an assurance to Ople that they are being treated well and that they prefer to continue working in Japan if allowed by the Japanese government and their employers.

The TITP aims to accept workers from various countries to acquire industrial and vocational skills in Japan to contribute to the improvement of their occupational lives when they return to their home countries.

On the other hand, the SSW allows the Japanese government to recruit qualified foreign workers in order to fill employment quotas in 14 industrial fields.

The DMW said salaries of workers in Japan range from 130,000 Yen (P54,548) for entry level TITP trainees and up to 900,000 Yen (P377,640) for specialized positions for highly skilled professionals.

Ople said the major challenge was in hurdling the language proficiency test while already working in Japan. The matter is already being addressed by the Preparatory Japanese-Language Training (PJLT) program under the existing Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

“We will look into these bottlenecks and obstacles and try to untangle them one by one. Japan has proven to be a reliable partner in overseas employment,” Ople said. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA Integrated News