EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW. Ahead of President Duterte’s meeting with the Filipino community, OFWs in South Korea have been getting the same labor protection and benefits as local residents, according to Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez.
Filipino migrant workers including construction and service workers, teachers, and other professionals are receiving the same treatment as locals under South Korea’s labor laws, and the visiting Philippine delegation was pleased to learn this.
President Duterte along with several Cabinet members were in Seoul for a three-day official visit. First on his agenda was attending an assembly of OFWs in South Korea at the Grand Hilton Hotel and Convention Center late Sunday afternoon.
“It would be good to let you know that the Filipinos are given equal coverage and protection as locals,” reiterated by Hernandez during a media interview.
“This protection and coverage is under the Labor Standards Act of Korea and they also enjoy the same wage and also working hours, privileges. They also enjoy the insurance, benefits, and other support programs,” he added.
Supported by policy
There are 66,000 OFWs in South Korea today. Among them, 26,000 work under the Employment Permit System (EPS), which is a government-to-government scheme that allows small and medium Korean business companies to hire foreigners. Most of these workers are employed in factories, service industry, and construction.
“We hope that this visit of the President to South Korea will demonstrate to the Filipinos living and working here in Korea as well as their families and friends in the Philippines to highlight the high importance that the President gives to the OFWs by maintaining our continued excellent bilateral relationship between Korea and the Philippines,” said Hernandez.
Filipinos in South Korea were excited to meet the President, with Hernandez mentioning that majority of them voted for him in the last presidential elections.
“The Filipino community here in South Korea is solidly behind the President and in his campaign against corruption, against drugs, and against criminality,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez also mentioned that even if the OFWs in South Korea are being treated well, the Philippine embassy still continues to provide consular services to Filipinos in South Korea, ensuring their welfare and protection.
“We make ourselves open on a weekend, particularly on a Sunday so that the Filipinos could come during their off hours or day offs, okay, from other parts of Korea and be able to avail of the services of the Embassy,” he said.
The Philippine Ambassador to South Korea added that consular outreach missions are also conducted regularly, bringing services such as passport renewal, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances, and more to Filipinos living in far-flung areas.
“We try to use those missions to talk to the community about updates in labor and consular issues,” he added.
via Manila Bulletin / Genalyn Kabiling