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Taiwan offers new visa for foreign workers seeking white-collar jobs

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, February 19th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Tourists from China walk past the Taiwan’s landmark building Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

The Taiwan government on February 8 began the implementation of a law aimed at attracting foreign professionals.

In an announcement by the National Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) on Monday, a quota of 2,000 has been set for the first year of the job-seeking visa which allows foreign nationals to remain in Taiwan for up to six months while looking for employment.

Applicants with work experience will be required to provide documents showing their average monthly salary of at least NT$ 47,000 or P85,000 per month in their most recent six months of employment, while those with no work experience should submit their diploma from one the 500 schools recognized by Taiwan’s ministry of education.

All applicants must be able to prove they have funds of at least NT$ 100,000 or P180,000 to cover their basic living costs for six months in Taiwan.

Other required supporting documents include a police record, a job-seeking plan, and proof of health insurance coverage for the duration of the applicant’s stay in Taiwan.

The new program will be an added advantage for Filipinos after the Taiwan government allowed visa-free entry for one year.

“Magandang balita po iyan para sa mga kababayan natin sa Pilipinas lalo na po sa mga skilled workers. Mas madali po makakapag-apply, wala na po masyadong hassle at mas dadami kami dito sa Taiwan,” said Filipino engineer, Marvin Cruz.

(That is good news for our countrymen in the Philippines especially for skilled workers. Many will be able to apply without much hassle. There will be more of us in Taiwan soon.)

“Kung matutuloy po yan na magbukas sila nagbabalak rin po akong makapasok para rin po sa mas mataas na rate ng sahod kaysa factory worker,” said Rommel Salud, an electrical engineering graduate working as a factory worker.

(If it pushes through I am planning to apply for a chance at a higher salary than a factory worker.)

The application fee for US passport holders is around US$160 and for citizens of all other countries US$50.

Additional information and application forms for the new job-seeking visas are available on the National Bureau of Consular Affairs website. —Amiel Pascual | UNTV News & Rescue



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Taiwan approves stringent measures to protect migrant workers’ rights

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Abusive employers will face up to 300,000 NT (P500,000) fine under the newly amended Employment Service Act.

Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan approved the measure on third reading in early November which prohibits employers from keeping the migrant worker’s passport or any identity document such as work permit without the consent of the person.

Under the amended law, any employer or employment agency proven to have abused the rights of migrant workers in the country will be sanctioned.

According to the Ministry of Labor, employers who are subject of complaints will be fined from 60,000NT (P100,000) up to 300,000NT (P500,000).

Meanwhile, for grave offenses such as sexual assault, human trafficking, physical abuse and homicide that have been reported within 24 hours from the time of the incident will incur the suspect a fine of 300,000NT to 1.5-M Taiwan dollars (P2M).

Apart from the high price of monetary penalty, brokers or agencies in question will also face revocation of permit to operate.

The said measures are in line with the government’s efforts to protect the rights of migrant workers whose roles have been vital in Taiwan’s economy.

Based on records of Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor, there are around 700,000 migrant workers in Taiwan as of 2018 with most numbers working in the manufacturing sector. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

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Government contractuals get two-year job extension, better pay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Three government agencies worked together to come up with a joint circular, detailing guidelines that will greatly benefit job order and contract of service workers in the government.

Recently, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Audit (COA) announced they have amended Joint Circular No. 1.

Government agencies are now allowed to renew qualified contracts up to two more years or until December 31, 2020. Previously, renewal of individual contracts of existing contract of service or job workers was only until December 31, 2018.

The salaries of government contractual workers will also now be equivalent to the daily salary of those in comparable positions in government starting January 2019.

Contractual workers should also expect to receive a premium of up to 20 percent of the salary that may be paid in monthly, lump sum or in tranches depending on their government agency.

The amended circular also provides that qualified existing contract of service and job order workers shall be considered for appointment to vacant positions of government agencies. This will be subject to existing civil service laws, rules and regulations, and merit selection plans approved by the CSC.

This is welcome news for contractual worker Adrian Mendizabal who has been serving as an information officer of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for more than two years now.

Aside from job extension, he is also set to receive better pay. However, Adrian laments the vast difference of this rule from the benefits given to a regular employee.

“Yun po wala po kaming protection wala kaming benepisyo saka mahirap pong  po wala din kaming bonus,” said BFAR job order worker Adrian Mendizabal.

The Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) also considers this amended circular a triumph for workers. But the group admits this is still not enough to address the contractualization scheme in the country.

“Para sa amin po, isang tagumpay ito bagama’t hindi lubusan dahil after two year itutuloy pa rin yung agency hiring,” said Social Welfare Employees Association of the Philippines national president Manny Baclagon.

The group notes there are more than 700,000 government contractual workers across the country which leads them to question the administration’s campaign and order for private firms to regularize their workers.

“Kung tutuusin gobyerno ang pinakaunang violator ng contractualization sa ating bansa dahil siya ang may pinakamaraming bilang ng mga kontraktual na manggagawa,” said Baclagon.

Government contractual workers also worry that if they were not regularized by December 2020, they would have to deal with a third party agency to outsource their service. — JL Asayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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P25 daily wage hike for NCR workers to take effect November 22

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) has announced that the P500 to P537 new minimum wage rates for Metro Manila workers will take effect on November 22.

The announcement comes after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) officially confirmed the P25 wage increase for private sector minimum wage earners.

The wage board said that objecting parties may file their appeal within 10 days of the wage order’s release.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department questioned the third quarter survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) on the country’s unemployment rate.

The SWS poll conducted from September 15 to 23, 2018 showed that 22 percent or 9.8 million Filipinos are unemployed. This is higher than the 2.3 million figure reported in the labor force survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in July.

DOLE clarified that the SWS used different criteria of unemployment, age and sample population and dates when it conducted the interview.

The department said the employment rate in the country exhibited a generally increasing trend since 2010.

“Over the last decade, the recent employment outrun is recorded as the highest among previous July rounds, with similar results in July 2016. With an estimated 488,000 net generated employment, total employment reached 40.7 million,” said Labor Undersecretary Renato Ebarle. — UNTV News & Rescue


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