MANILA, Philippines - The government is urging Filipino workers not to overstay or become illegal residents in South Korea, since this may result in the reduction of quota for Filipino workers.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz appealed to overseas Filipino workers to return home after their contracts have expired.
"I appeal to our OFWs in Korea to preserve the positive image of the Filipino Employment Permit System (EPS) workers for the Philippines to continue to enjoy a good share of the demand for foreign workers in Korea and not ruin the good chances of other Filipinos desiring to get good jobs under the EPS," she said.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Korea and the Human Resource Development (HRD) Korea have reported a growing number of Filipino illegal EPS workers in the country.
This has resulted in the reduction of labor quota for the Philippines, in accordance with the provision on the effect of illegal stay in deciding the labor quota under the EPS Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippines and South Korea.
Baldoz directed the POLO in Korea and the Philippines, as well as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to undertake measures to address this problem.
POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said departing EPS workers to Korea will sign a Letter of Undertaking to deter them from going illegal or face sanctions.
POEA will also undertake an information campaign warning EPS workers from becoming illegal.
"I reiterate to voluntary returnees under the EPS the positive effect of their voluntary return during the registration for the computer-based TOPIK. The CBT will give them another chance to return and work under the EPS Korea, in contrast to illegal/overstayers who are barred from working under EPS," Cacdac said.
TOPIK or Test of Proficiency in Korean is a test conducted to measure one's profiency in the Korean language.
"Let us reduce the number of Filipino irregular workers in Korea so we can have a higher quota next year," Cacdac said.
The Philippines has already deployed some 30,000 workers to South Korea since 2004. Most of the workers are in the manufacturing sector.