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Taiwan to reopen its borders for Filipino migrant workers ‘very soon’


  • Labor attaché says Taiwan likely to reopen doors to Filipinos after end of Lunar New Year.
  • The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) announced on January 12 that Taiwan is going to reopen its borders to Filipino workers “very soon.”
MECO Chairman and Resident Representative Wilfredo B. Fernandez (left) and Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (right). | Photo: MECO

Taiwan has been asked to reopen its doors to migrant Filipino workers, according to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), following a meeting between the Philippines’ representative office in Taipei and Taiwan’s labor ministry on Friday.

MECO said in a statement that its chairman and resident representative Wilfredo B. Fernandez had requested a meeting with labor minister Minister Hsu Ming-Chun “in his continuing bid for Taiwan to reopen its borders to overseas Filipino workers.”

“During the meeting, (Mr.) Fernandez reiterated his request for ‘stranded’ Filipino workers in the Philippines since the May 2021 suspension of deployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic to be allowed to return to Taiwan,” it said.

Cesar Chavez, Jr., the Philippine labor attaché in Taiwan, previously stated that Taiwan is likely to welcome OFWs after the 2022 Lunar New Year, when more quarantine facilities are expected to be available.

During the meeting, Mr. Hsu stated that the Philippines is an important international partner, citing the enormous contribution of Filipinos to Taiwan’s economic development.

According to MECO, Mr. Hsu pledged to constantly review labor rules in order to protect migrant workers’ rights and improve their benefits.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fernandez reiterated his strong opposition to the “exorbitant fees” charged by Philippine recruitment agencies to OFWs, claiming that the issue could be resolved through simplified recruitment and improved collaboration between the two countries.

According to the MECO, its chairman asked Malacaang in November to “ensure Taiwan’s requirements for the resumption of OFW deployment be addressed immediately,” and recommended that all pandemic-related fees be borne by Philippine recruitment agencies.

“The recommendation is in consonance with a January 2021 Memo Circular No.1 of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) explicitly providing that pandemic fees prior to deployment shall be borne by the agency, at no cost to the worker,” it said.

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