7,000 overstaying OFWs face sanctions
December 31, 2013
Manila, Philippines – Some 7,000 overstaying overseas Filipino workers in South Korea could face possible sanctions from Philippine Overseas Employment Administration as it begins its crackdown against them in 2014.
In a text message, POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac said this is in compliance with the directive from the Department of Labor and Employment to reduce the number of undocumented OFWs in South Korea, who availed themselves of the government’s Employment Permit System.
“We will file disciplinary cases against EPS workers, who have become illegal stayers in Korea,” Cacdac said.
The EPS is a hiring arrangement with South Korea, wherein Seoul will hire OFWs through the Philippine government.
Workers under the EPS are exempted from the Korean language test and job training course, and are not subject to the age limitation of 38 years old.
South Korea usually sets a specific annual quota of OFWs, which is determined by labor market trends, level of labor shortages, economic condition and the rate of undocumented Filipino workers in South Korea.
As of September last year, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office reported 6,700 of the 8,247 undocumented OFWs in South Korea entered the country through the EPS.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said POEA’s crackdown is part of government initiative to raise the quota for legal OFWs in South Korea.
“The 2014 quota under the EPS will be decided by South Korea’s Foreign Workers Policy Committee on 2014 and we have to show we are serious in reducing the number of the estimated 8,247 EPS workers illegally staying in South Korea if we wish to have our quota increased,” Baldoz said.