MANILA, Feb 28 (Mabuhay) — Around a fourth of the Filipino workers in Taiwan would be qualified to avail of the territory’s new permanent residency program set to take effect in April, an official of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) said over the weekend.

According to POLO Taipei Labor Attaché Cesar Chavez Jr., some 35,000 Filipino workers were eligible to apply for permanent residency in Taiwan as they fit the conditions set under a new Ministry of Labor measure.

Under the initial guidelines, foreign workers could secure an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC) should they meet the required tenure — six years of work, on top of another five years of employment.

Before the new measure, workers in the manufacturing industry were only allowed a maximum of 12 years, and those employed as caretakers and domestic workers were capped at 14 years.

“Ito ‘yung nakikitang solusyon ng Taiwanese government, kasi may mga shortage din sila sa workers kaya pinapayagan na nilang maaaring mag-qualify ‘yung mga matatagal na dito sa Taiwan,” Chavez said.

“Ayaw na nilang bitawan ito, kaya binigyan nila ng option na pwedeng magkaroon ng permanent residency based on the length of service and upgraded skill,” he continued.

Chavez said that workers would need to have their skills reclassified or upgraded after their first six years of employment and then stay for another five years, for a total of 11 years, before they can apply for the program.

There are currently over 140,000 Filipino workers in Taiwan, 85% of whom are in manufacturing while 15% are caregivers or domestic workers.

“Gustong gusto ng mga employer dahil magagaling ang mga Pinoy diyan, kahit minimum supervision lang or kahit iwanan mo ‘yan ay naa-accomplish ‘yung trabaho, so gustong gusto tayo diyan,” Chavez said.

Employers are also said to prefer Filipino workers given their strength in English and their ability to get along with their coworkers. (MNS)

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