MANILA, Philippines – An increase in the minimum wage in Korea has taken effect, giving workers, including Filipinos under the Employment Permit System (EPS), something to rejoice about.
"This is good news for OFWs working in Korea under the EPS," said Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.
Baldoz said the Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labour (MOEL) announced that the minimum daily wage for workers is now at 38,880 Korean won for eight hours of work a day, or a monthly rate of KRW 1,015,740 (equivalent to $958).
This represents an increase of 5.76 percent over last year’s minimum wage rate of 36,640 Korean won for 8 hours of work.
MOEL said the new wage rate took effect January 1 until December 31, 2013.
However, the minimum wage rate shall not apply to workers with disabilities, those working in their family businesses, domestic workers, and seafarers.
Filipino workers are urged to go to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Seoul if their employers fail to pay the prescribed salary.
Korea is one of the Philippines's favored destinations for OFWs because of the demand for foreign workers under the EPS system, especially in labor shortage industries, such as agriculture, stockbreeding, fishery, construction, and manufacturing.
There are some 30,000 Filipino workers deployed to Korea since 2004, mostly working in the manufacturing sector.