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Taiwan to start 5-month amnesty program for overstaying foreigners

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 8 January 2019 11:44 AM

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Overstaying foreign nationals will soon have the chance to rectify their status in the country.

Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency (NIA) said the government is working on starting a five-month amnesty program for overstaying foreign nationals.

This will allow them to pay smaller fines once they report to immigration authorities on a given period.

The NIA said the number of overstaying foreigners has increased to 88,000 as of October 2018.

To address this problem, the government will introduce a five-year amnesty program which will start from February to June.

Within the said period, overstays will be subject to a reduced fine and shortened re-entry ban without mandatory detention.

Meanwhile, the maximum penalty will be NT$2,000 (P3,400) and a re-entry ban compared with detention.

Those who do not voluntarily contact immigration authorities will face a maximum fine of NT$10,000 (P17,000) and an entry ban of eight years.

According to the NIA, the largest number of overstaying foreign nationals are mostly composed of migrant workers, and their total has reached 51, 982 as of November 2018.

Of the said number, a total of 24, 267 are Vietnamese and 24, 176 are Indonesians.

Likewise, the NIA calls on overstaying foreigners to report to authorities all brokers and employers in Taiwan who hire illegal workers so that the government can take legal actions against them.

Overstaying foreign nationals and those who want  to report brokers and employers hiring illegal workers may call the agency’s toll-free hotline 0800-024-881. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

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Filipino radio program airs weekly in Taiwan

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Sunday, 10 March 2019 07:58 AM

Filipina radio host, Jay Rose ‘Kaibigang Jay’ Ho. (Photo by Chris Narag|PVI)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – A Filipino radio program has been hitting the airwaves in Taiwan since February 2016.

It is hosted by Jay Rose Ho or simply ‘Kaibigang Jay’, a daughter of a Filipina overseas worker who eventually became an immigrant in Taiwan.

Her program entitled “Feel at Home Ka Dito” is delivered in Filipino language and airs weekly through Taiwan Broadcasting Corporation.

It aims to answer questions of Filipinos living and working in the state.

“(Ito ay) para sa mga foreign workers na nagtrabaho dito sa Taiwan, kasama na doon ang mga new immigrants. Mostly kaya ako nagsasalita ng Chinese kasi mayroon ding nakikinig (gaya ng) aking employer or agency or broker (This is for foreign workers here in Taiwan including the new immigrants. I mostly speak Chinese because I also have local listeners like my employer, my agency or broker),” Ho said.

The program has four segments. The first part talks about the latest local news and updates. This is when ‘Kaibigan Jay’ also shares personal experiences and observations that can inspire her listeners.

The second part talks about Taiwan laws that immigrant should know.

Meanwhile, the third part is a much more specific discussion about the latest news involving Filipinos in the country.

Lastly, ‘Kaibigang Jay’ offers Mandarin lessons on air.

Jay said her former job at Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor Help Hotline 1955 was helpful for her to be able to extract and explain the details of the country’s labor laws and for Filipinos to be informed on which measures to take should they encounter problems in their workplace.

Jay’s program has been instrumental in solving several problems of Filipino workers who have asked for help through her program.

“Recently ang sabi niya [Filipino worker] nga sa akin pwede ba daw sila manganak dito sa Taiwan? Sabi ko, pwede naman, ang masama nga yung nabuntis ka tapos papaalisin ka papirmahin ka ng letter (Recently, a Filipino worker asked me if she can give birth here in Taiwan. I said yes. What’s worst is when you are pregnant and then suddenly you will be asked to leave and sign a letter),” she explained.

“Mayroon kang rights. Kasama tayo sa Taiwan Labor Standard Law kaya you are allowed (na) mabuntis (o) manganak dito sa Taiwan (You have rights. We are covered under the Taiwan Labor Standard Law so you are allowed to conceive and give birth here in Taiwan),” she added.

Jay invites other Filipinos in Taiwan to join her on board to share to the Taiwanese community the Filipino culture, the beautiful places in the Philippines and the Filipino values.

She hopes to be of help to more Filipinos in the future through her humble program. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Amiel Pascual)

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Taiwan President calls for int’l support to defend democracy amid threats from China

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 7 January 2019 11:45 AM

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. (Photo courtesy: Photoville Taiwan | UNTV News and Rescue)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – President Tsai Ing-wen calls for international support to defend democracy as it faces renewed threats from China particularly it’s “one country, two systems” policy.

“We (Taiwan) are an important and loyal supporter of all internationally important values. So when a country like us faces difficulties and threats, we hope that the international community takes it seriously and can voice support and help us,” she said in a press conference with foreign media including UNTV News in Taipei on Saturday (January 5).

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen during a briefing with foreign media on Saturday (January 5). (Photo courtesy: Office of the President of Taiwan)

Tsai also calls on all parties in Taiwan to rally behind her and fulfill the wishes of the Taiwan people.

She noted that such a threat from China can also happen to any other countries if the international community will just watch and not extend its help to Taiwan.

“When a country that does its best to practice democracy and shared international values face threats and violation, I believe that this is also a violation of democracy and those values. If the international community does not speak out for and support Taiwan while it is facing such a situation, we have to ask which country will be next.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping insists that Taiwan was part of China and offered reunification to its people and pressed the implementation of the “one country, two systems” framework.

Tsai, a pro-independence president, said Taiwan cannot accept such political arrangement with China as it will bring them under Xi’s rule and it will only result to further misunderstandings.

Instead of putting much pressure to Taiwan on territorial matters, Tsai said Xi should pay attention to issues that will affect both countries neighbors such as the outbreak of African Swine Fever.

Taiwan became persistent in its quest for independence since Tsai took office in January 2016. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

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Taiwan approves stringent measures to protect migrant workers’ rights

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 10:57 AM

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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