MANILA (Mabuhay) – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday welcomed the commitment of Japanese ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa to increase the number of Filipino nurses and caregivers allowed to work in Japan.
During his recent courtesy call at the Coconut Palace, Ishikawa informed the Vice President of Japan’s plan to ease the process for healthcare workers to be employed in Japan.
“I assure that I will do my best to [so that Japan can] absorb more Filipino nurses and caretakers,” Ishikawa promised Binay.
The envoy also promised to modify the Japanese nursing licensure examinations to raise the passing rate among Filipino candidates.
The examinations, which are conducted in the Japanese language have been seen as one of the major barriers preventing Filipino healthcare workers from being employed in the country.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our nurses and caregivers not only to find meaningful employment abroad, but also to showcase the best of what we have to offer to the world,” Binay, the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns, said.
Binay also emphasized the need to align the training and education of Filipinos with realities on the ground to ensure that they are able to cope with the demands of employment here and abroad.
“We need to ensure that our students are equipped with the best tools possible and remain competitive, especially in the face of the impending ASEAN integration,” the Vice President said.
Binay, during the meeting, also thanked the envoy for Japan’s continued assistance to the country.
As of June 2014, Japan is the Philippines’ top source of development funds, with its Official Development Assistance amounting to more than USD 3 billion in loans and grants.
At present, there are 225,288 Filipinos in Japan, majority of them are professional and skilled workers such as engineers, professors, and entertainers.
The deployment of nurses and caregivers is a product of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement signed in 2006.
Last November 2014, 306 Filipino candidates comprised the 7th Batch of Candidate Nurses and Caregivers to Japan as part of the agreement between the two countries. They are currently undergoing a six-month training.
According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, there are currently (as of December 2014) 105 Filipino nurses and 222 caregivers in Japan. (MNS)