Foreign workers in Taiwan calls for better labor rights

admin   •   January 8, 2018   •   10465

Foreign workers in Taiwan want reforms in the country’s labor law.

One of which is to abolish the broker system. Migrant workers insist that they should be given freedom to directly apply to employers without going through brokers. This is because broker fees are high which usually cost as high as 100,000 Taiwan dollars or 160,000 pesos.

“Yung broker system ay masyado ng talamak talaga dito, na ganun talaga yung sistema nila, tsaka marami sa mga politician na may kamag-anak suportado ng mga broker dito kaya mahirap siyang kuhanin,” said Sherry Macmod Wang, an OFW in Taiwan.

Workers also call for protection for domestic caregivers. They insisted that caregivers be included in the country’s labor standards law to get the same benefits that skilled and factory workers receive.

“Unang-una yun maisama  lalong lalo na ang mga caretaker sa labor standard law. Pangalawa, ma-abolish ang mga brokers, brokers at ang karapatan ng mga maggagawa dito sa taiwan na mailipat sa kanilang trabaho kapag kailangan nilang ilipat,” said Norie Rosales, an OFW.

There are around 670,000 migrant workers in the country, according to the latest record of the Taiwan Ministry of Labor. The second largest number is from the Philippines which is at 117,317.

Migrant workers in Taiwan have been demanding for a wage increase, mandatory days off brokerage fee exemptions and the freedom to transfer to new employers.

The protesters also call on the Taiwan government to allow them to participate in policymaking for migrant workers.

“Migrant workers should be involved in the discussion of their rights not just the legislative yuan but also the migrant workers itself because the migrant workers are the people who know about what is the right and what is the better decision for them,” said Jonathan Parhusip, an Indonesian. — Reuters

Taiwan requires mandatory quarantine for travelers from PH starting August 12

Marje Pelayo   •   August 11, 2020

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The government of Taiwan imposed a new quarantine policy for travelers arriving from the Philippines starting Wednesday (August 12). 

The country’s Health Ministry announced the new regulation on Sunday (August 9) prompted by the rising number of imported coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases from the Philippines, according to the latest report of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The CECC reported that five percent of all arrivals from the Philippines between July 16 to August 8 tested positive for COVID-19 in comparison with only 0.03 percent for those coming from other parts of the world.

Under the new regulation, all travelers from the Philippines will be transported upon arrival to official quarantine locations to serve the 14-day mandatory quarantine period. 

This applies to Taiwanese citizens, resident permit holders, migrant workers, international students, and diplomatic officials. 

The 14-day stay in the quarantine facility will  incur a fee of NT$1,500 equivalent to US$51 (P2,500) per day except for  Taiwanese citizens and resident permit holders whose expenses will be shouldered by the government. MNP (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

Taiwan reports 4 of 5 new COVID-19 cases came from the Philippines

Marje Pelayo   •   July 29, 2020

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported on Tuesday (July 28) that it has recorded five new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among travelers who arrived in the country on Sunday (July 26).

This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan to 467 since the start of the pandemic early this year. 

Out of 467 positive cases, 21 are imported so far.

Of the five new cases, all took the same flight on July 26, four were from the Philippines and one returned from Hong Kong, according to CECC.

The CECC identified the patients as follows:

  • Male (over 50y/o)
    • He visited the Philippines for work in March. He returned to Taiwan on July 26 with a slightly elevated temperature at the airport. After the test, he was confirmed positive on July 28.
  • Male (over 30y/o)
    • He visited the Philippines for work in January. He noticed abnormality in his sense of smell and taste and sought medical attention in the Philippines on June 16. He took a COVID-19 test the same day, but he tested negative.  He returned to Taiwan on July 26 where he voluntarily reported his previous symptoms to airport quarantine officers who then arranged his COVID-19 testing. His test yielded positive results and was confirmed on July 28.
  • Male/Female (both over 70y/o)
    • A couple in their 70s who traveled to the Philippines to visit their relatives in January. The two cases returned to Taiwan on July 26. The male patient was asymptomatic while the female patient reported her symptoms to airport quarantine officers before boarding and upon entry to Taiwan. After COVID-19 testing was undertaken, they were taken to a quarantine facility. They were confirmed positive on July 28.
  • Male (over 30y/o) 
    • He traveled to Hong Kong for work in January and returned to Taiwan on July 26. He voluntarily reported his symptoms to airport quarantine officers who then arranged his COVID-19 testing and he was confirmed positive on July 28. 

All five cases are currently in isolation in a hospital for medical treatment.

Taiwan extends trial visa-free entry for Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   July 24, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Taiwan’s national flags in Taipei, REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

MANILA, Philippines — The government of Taiwan has extended its trial visa-free entry for nationals of Brunei, the Philippines, Russia and Thailand to further promote its New Southbound Policy.

In a meeting with other related agencies, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) decided to extend the visa-free entry for one year starting August 1 until July 31, 2021.

Likewise, the Project for Simplifying Visa Regulations for High-end Group Tourists from Southeast Asian Countries will continue for another year, lasting until December 31, 2021. 

The said adjustments to visa measures are based on previously existing policies, the MOFA stressed and “do not take precedence” over temporary border control measures put in place in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

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