Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday hailed as good news the report of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration saying the Philippines has garnered 2nd Place in the Excellent Records category of South Korea’s 2013 Best Practice Excellence Award in the implementation of its Employment Permit System (EPS).

“This Award affirms the country’s consistent sterling performance in the deployment of skilled overseas Filipino workers under the Korea Employment Permit System (EPS),” said Baldoz.

In his report to Secretary Baldoz, POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said that HRD Korea Director General Kim See Tae handed the award to POEA Deputy Administrator Amuerfina Reyes and Director Ninfa de Guzman at the culmination of the recent EPS workshop held in Seoul late November last year. A total of 15 sending organizations sent delegates to the EPS workshop.

The award came with a plaque and cash of US$300. The Philippines, together with Sri Lanka, shared second place, while Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Vietnam were awarded 3rd place and US$100. Director General Tae bestowed the Best Practice award of US$500 on Nepal.

As an awardee, the Philippines, together with five other finalists, will be entitled to a higher labor quota to be decided this year. Furthermore, the HRD Korea official committed to reimburse the total $1,456 airfare of the two Philippine representatives who bagged the honor on behalf of their country in sympathy for the Philippines due to the effects of super typhoon Yolanda.

DA Reyes and Director De Guzman, during the workshop, highlighted the Philippines’s best practices since the EPS’s inception in 2004, to wit:  (1) Sustained, transparent EPS dissemination, including announcements and advisories in the POEA website, www.poea.dole.gov.ph;  (2) Comprehensive education including the conduct of pre-application orientations benefiting EPS applicants during job fairs and registration, pre-employment briefing, pre-departure orientation seminars, pre-flight briefings, post-arrival orientations in Korea, and labor education program by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office;  (3) transparency to workers in all stages of hiring; (4) effective regulation founded on the Code of Discipline for OFWs; (5) and reintegration support for voluntary returnees in coordination with the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO).

Baldoz said that while modest, the honor bodes great significance reflecting the host country’s sincere intention based upon both countries’ mutual commitment for the ethical and efficient implementation of the EPS redounding to OFW welfare and protection.

“For the record, the Philippines has consistently fulfilled its obligation under the EPS,” Baldoz emphasized.

“Our effective implementation of the EPS, resulted in the deployment of 35,568 OFWs in 340 batches as of 20 November 2013,” she added. The Philippines and South Korea have renewed their EPS agreement thrice.

Baldoz, then as POEA Administrator, forged the EPS with the Korean Ministry of Labor (MOL) in 2004 for the purpose of effectively regulating the employment of skilled OFWs in the South Korean economy under ethical conditions and excellent practices guaranteeing their welfare and protection.

The labor and employment chief also thanked and cited the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Seoul, headed by Labor Attache Felicitas Q. Bay, for the active support it extended EPS.

Any question about this release? Please call the POEA at tel. no. 722-11-47 or the POEA Hotlines 722-11-44 or 722-11-55.

END/mjlc

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