MANILA — Some 35,000 overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan are eligible to become permanent residents of the island under a new law, an official said Sunday.
Taiwan recently passed a measure allowing migrant workers to become permanent residents, prompted by a shortage of skilled workers there.
The Taiwanese government has yet to issue detailed guidelines on the new law, which is set to be implemented in April, said Philippine labor attaché in Taiwan Cesar Chavez.
But based on initial guidelines, a migrant worker who has worked 6 years in Taiwan can apply to be reclassified as an intermediate skilled worker, Chavez explained.
Once reclassified, the worker needs to serve for another 5 years to be able to apply for permanent residency, which means the entire process will take up to 11 years, he added.
Of the 142,000 Filipinos employed in Taiwan, around 35,000 have been working for more than 6 years, thus making them eligible for reclassification, Chavez said.
The official said employers are the ones who will apply for the reclassification of their workers.
Eight-five percent of OFWs in Taiwan work in the manufacturing industry while the remaining are mostly domestic workers, according to Chavez, noting that most workers usually stay for about 12 to 14 years.
In an earlier interview, he said the workers' salary is also part of the conditions.
“Para sa manufacturing workers, dapat ay not less than 33,000 NT. Doon naman sa mga domestic at caregivers na nasa long term care homes, dapat 29,000 NT. Yung regular salary, hindi bababa d'yan. At para sa mga live-in, yung mga nasa bahay na caretaker at domestic worker caregivers, dapat tumatanggap sila ng regular salary na NT24,000,” said Chavez.
Their proficiency in the Chinese language, as well as professional skills training certificates from government-approved training courses are also required.
Once a worker has been granted permanent residency, they will also be able to bring their families to the island, Chavez said.