Manila, Japan sign memo on nurses

Published by rudy Date posted on January 13, 2009

A MEMORANDUM of understanding was signed yesterday between the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and its Japanese counterpart to pave the way for 500 Filipino nurses and caregivers to undergo training and get employed in Tokyo.

The memorandum, covered by the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement that took effect last Dec. 11, was signed by POEA Administrator Jennifer Manalili and her counterpart, managing director Taklashi Tsunoda of Japan International Corporation for Welfare Services.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, who witnessed the signing at the Ople Center in Manila, said the agreement will serve as framework for the recruitment of Filipino nurses (kangoshi) and caregivers (kaigofukushishi) to Japan.

Manalili said at least 200 Filipino nurses and 300 caregivers will comprise the first batch of trainees whom the POEA will select and endorse to its Japanese partner.

The Japanese will then match the nurses and caregivers to hospitals and institutions in Japan that it had pre-qualified to receive the Filipino trainees.

Roque said the Filipino trainees will be covered by a fully transparent employment contract and receive the same salaries equivalent to what Japanese nurses and caregivers receive, based on similar tasks and qualifications.

Prior to their actual work with their employers in Japan, the candidates will undergo a six-month language and culture training. During the training, each of the candidates will receive allowance of not less than 40,000 yen or P21,000 a month.

In the next two years about 1,000 nurses and caregivers will be deployed in Japan under the economic partnership.

“After that, we will evaluate the program and we will determine how things will move,” Manalili said.

Based on the memo, only the POEA may recruit nurses and caregivers and only the Jicwel is authorized to select the employers of the Filipino workers.

Manalili said caregivers who will be hired by Japanese employers will receive $1,600 while nurses will be entitled to a higher pay scale “depending on the employer.”

Those who will pass the Japanese licensure examination will be entitled to even higher pay.

“The examinations can be taken not more than three chances within three years in the case of candidate nurses… those who will fail thrice will have to go back to the country and give others a chance,” Manalili told reporters. –Arlie Calalo, Manila Standard Today

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