How Pinoy EPS workers are faring in South Korea

Published by rudy Date posted on March 2, 2015

MANILA – Filipino workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) in Korea enjoy most rights and wages accorded to their Korean counterpart.

“Generally, they are treated well although there are still some cases of contract violations and common concerns due to cultural and language gaps. The Korean government has set up migrant workers centers all over Korea and has numerous programs designed to assist EPS workers,” Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez said in an interview.

The Philippines is one of Korea’s six original partners in the memorandum of understanding on the EPS.

Of the 52,379 Filipinos living and working in South Korea, 23,778 or roughly 45% are employed under the EPS including the 6,000 plus undocumented workers.

“Last year, tumaas ang quota. Ngayon more than 4000 na yung quota. Karamihan sa kanila in manufacturing and production sector. They are usually working in factories. They are given a total of about 4 years and they go back to the Philippines and reapply,” Hernandez said.

To assist newcomers, the embassy, with help from the Filipino community and the Korean government, conduct programs that helps newly arrived workers adjust to life in their host country, and likewise prepare them for reintegration into the Philippines at the end of their nearly five-year contract.

“Constant training nila sa Korea. Our POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) and OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration), together with the embassy, usually hold regular seminars and meetings and other programs so that while in Korea they could do well in their work and when they come back to the Philippines, they could find work and continue to help their families,” Hernandez said.

EPS workers earn a monthly wage of around P45,000. In some cases, this could reach up to around P100,000.

“EPS workers earn enough money to provide for themselves, their family and their future. However, studies have shown that the ordinary worker in Korea finds it hard to save, forcing some of them to stay on illegally after the end of their contracts,” he said.

To help resolve this, the embassy and the Filipino community are actively promoting financial literacy to help OFWs better manage their earnings. –Maria Aleta Nieva Nishimori,

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