MANILA – Deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Japan is expected to become easier ensuring a safe and stable working environment for them as the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) establishes a Japan Employment Facilitation Desk (Japan Desk) in Tokyo and Osaka.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, DMW Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac said the creation of the Japan Desk is a testament to the strong labor market partnership between the Philippines and Japan.
"We are committed to working with our Japanese counterparts to ensure that Filipino workers have access to safe, stable, and gainful employment opportunities in Japan,” he said.
Cacdac said the Japan desk is a specialized unit that aims to streamline and facilitate the deployment of overseas OFWs to Japan, which is one of the Philippines' key labor markets.
It will be headed by DMW Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation Patricia Yvonne Caunan.
“The Japan Desk will be responsible for monitoring the deployment and return of OFWs in Japan, enforcing and facilitating compliance with prescribed timeframes for actions on Japanese documents, processes, and concerns,” Cacdac said.
It will also serve as the focal unit for Japanese concerns and will be recommending rewards and incentives for Japanese principals and employers, Japan-registered vessels, licensed Philippine recruitment agencies (PRAs) and manning agencies.
Caunan, meanwhile, said the establishment of the Japan Desk marks a significant milestone in the history of Philippine overseas employment.
“It is the first of its kind as it focuses on the processes and services of just one OFW host country. Its creation fulfills a commitment made by the late Secretary Susan 'Toots' Ople in February 2023 on the sidelines of the visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government welcomes the launch of the Japan Desk, together with its concerned government agencies, business organizations, and the Filipino community leaders and workers in Japan, who pledged their cooperation and support for the initiative.
Japan’s Ministry of Justice said that as of July 2023, there are 61,766 registered Filipino workers in Japan, mostly working in the construction and manufacturing sector under the Technical Internship Training Program (TITP), and in the care workers and professionals categories.
Caunan said that the establishment of the Japan Desk is also one of the legacies of the late DMW Secretary Ople who always committed to the welfare of Filipino workers.
"I am honored to carry on Secretary Ople's legacy by launching the Japan Desk. We will work tirelessly to ensure that the desk delivers its functions and services with utmost dedication and efficiency," she said. (PNA)