This after Labor Secretary Marianito D. Roque and his Korean counterpart, Minister Lee Younghee, signed on 30 May 2009 the Memorandum of Understanding on the Employment Permit System (EPS) which could send up to 5,000 OFWs to Korea within the next ten months.
Witnessed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, the two labor chiefs signed the MOU at the Blue House, venue of the bilateral meeting between Arroyo and Lee.
In a recent survey conducted by the Korea Labor Ministry, Filipinos ranked first in terms of ability to adopt to the Korean society and second in communication skills.
Under the new MOU, the minimum standards set by the Philippine government, such as free accommodation, are ensured thru the POEA's authority to review contract offers of employers. It likewise minimizes pre-departure cancellation of employment contracts and pre-termination of existing ones by disqualifying employers as well as workers with derogatory records.
Filipino workers also will continue to enjoy pension coverage pursuant to the National Pension Law and shall be entitled to equal treatment with that of Korean workers, including minimum wage and insurance protection.
Aside from the MOU on EPS, the two labor chiefs signed an MOU on Labor and Manpower Development which provides, among others, for the training of workers on-site to better prepare them for their eventual return to the Philippines. There will be exchanges, too of trainers and experts and development of curricula to improve vocational education and training.