Secretary Silvestre Bello III of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) bared that the agency is planning to deploy Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Japan within the next two months.
He noted that delays in the deployment to the said country had been experienced due to issues that need to be addressed such as workers’ qualifications. As a general requirement, applicants need to upgrade their language proficiency and skills. Bello clarified that DOLE needs to know what they really need and up to what extent of upgrading is needed.
On March, 2019, both the Philippine and Japanese governments signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) aiming to provide better protection on the recruitment and deployment of Filipino workers.
Hiring of OFWs is now under the specified skills residency in the host country. Applicants will be deployed under two identified occupational categories, namely, Specified Skilled Workers I and II.
Specified Skilled Worker I or having a first level expertise, will be able to work in Japan for a maximum of five (5) years. Specified Skilled Worker II, on the other hand, are those workers having a higher level of specialization and can work in Japan indefinitely upon renewal of their employment contract.
350,000 jobs are currently available in Japan in the fields of health care, building maintenance, food services, electronics, food manufacturing, industrial machinery, agriculture, hospitality, construction, shipbuilding, fisheries and aquaculture, parts and tooling, and aviation.
Employment opportunities in Japan were opened to foreign workers in April, 2019. DOLE estimated that Filipino workers would be able to get around 30 percent of the available jobs.