Starting this year, Japan would recruit Filipino nurses and caregivers for training and employment in that country under the Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the Philippines (JPEPA), Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque announced Monday.
Roque said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services (JICWELS) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) providing for the recruitment of Filipino nurses as candidate-kangoshi and caregivers as candidate-kaigofukushishi to Japan under the Framework for the Movement of Natural Persons of JPEPA, which came into force on Dec. 11, 2008.
POEA Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili and signed for the Philippine side, while Japan was represented by Takashi Tsunoda, managing director of JICWELS. The signing of the MOU at the Blas F. Ople Development Center in Intramuros, Manila and witnessed by Secretary Roque.
Roque said the MOU provides for the roles and responsibilities of the two parties and the working conditions for the Filipino nurses and caregivers, that would ensure their welfare and protection while training and working in Japan.
He said the hiring program shall commence with the initial recruitment of 200 Filipino nurses and 300 caregivers whom the POEA would endorse to JICWELS. The latter, for its part, would match the nurses and caregivers to hospitals and institutions in Japan that it had pre-qualified to receive the Filipino candidates.
He said the Filipino nurses and caregivers shall be covered by a fully transparent employment contract adding the Filipinos shall receive the same salaries equivalent to what Japanese nurses and caregivers receive, based on similar tasks and qualifications.
For her part, Administrator Manilili said that prior to their actual work with their respective employers in Japan, the selected candidates shall nonetheless undergo a six-month language and culture training. During the training, the candidates shall receive allowance of not less than 40,000 yen or more than P21,000 per month.
“The language training shall help them prepare to eventually take the Japanese licensure examination. The examinations can be taken not more than three chances within three years in the case of candidate-nurses, and once on the 4th year of stay in the case of candidate-caregivers,” Manalili said.
She added that before obtaining their qualification as full-fledged nurse in Japan, candidate-nurses shall work under the supervision of a Japanese Kangoshi to fully familiarize them with the Japanese system. After passing the licensure or certification examinations, the fully qualified nurse and certified caregiver shall have the option to stay for an unlimited period in Japan to practice their profession based on new and upgraded employment contract with their employer.
Registered nurses with at least three years experience are qualified to apply for training and employment in Japan. Candidate caregivers, on the other hand, should be a graduate of a four-year course and should be certified by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Graduates of a nursing course may also apply as caregiver.
Applicants shall be required to undergo an aptitude test and interview by JICWELS to facilitate their matching with employers,. After selection, they must pass the required medical examination to conclude the employment contract and to successfully qualify to enter Japan. Nominal expenses of application shall be borne by applicants for document submission/authentication, medical examination (P1,500 basic) and visa fee (P1,150).
Airfare and onsite training costs are shouldered by the employers or the Government of Japan.
Qualified nurses and candidates are invited to apply with the POEA and to register online at www.eregister.poea.gov.ph.