New PHL labor quota of 4,600 shows South Korea’s continued preference for OFW

By , on March 27, 2015

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MANILA — Close to 5,000 Filipino workers were allowed to work in South Korea’s manufacturing sector under the Employment Permit System (EPS), according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

With this, Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) noted that there was an increase of the demand for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the said sector after the country captured 13.98 percent of the quota for new entrants allocated by the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) of South Korea.

“If we go by the total number, there was an increase in demand for OFWs. Last year, the quota for the Philippines was at 12.71 percent. In 2013, out of the 42,600 quota, we were given a total of 4,400 slots, or at 9.86 percent of the workforce allowed in the manufacturing industry,” she explained in her report to DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

The MOEL has set this year’s ceiling of 4,600 for the Philippines in terms of new workers in the manufacturing sector.

Bay also reported that South Korea’s overall foreign workers quota in the manufacturing sector this year is set at 42,400.

Of this number, 32,890 are apportioned for new entrants, while 9,510 are allocated to returning foreign workers.

The total quota is divided among the sending countries based on employers’ preference, the rate of undocumented workers, and the country’s level of efficiency in managing the workforce.

On the other hand, Baldoz said the country’s good standing in the EPS can be attributed to the government’s efforts in advocating the prevention of illegal stay in South Korea as can be seen on the decreasing incidence of undocumented OFWs.

In 2013, the total Filipino EPS workers was at 20,632. Of this number, 6,548, or 32 percent, were undocumented. The total number of EPS workers rose to 23,948 in 2014, but the number of undocumented went down, by seven percent to 6,005.