While Filipino nurses and careworkers under the PJEPA have to improve their performance in the Japanese licensure examinations
Filipino household service workers (HSWs) in Hong Kong and Dubai have a broad range of occupational choices beyond domestic work mostly owing to their skills, a research by OIC-Executive Director Mary Grace Riguer of the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) shows.
Nurse- and careworker-candidates for work in Japan, however, need improvement in their performance in the licensure examinations as reflected in the 14% passing rate in the Japanese licensure exams since 2009, according to a case study by ILS OIC-Deputy Executive Director Atty. Stephanie Tabladillo.
The two studies were presented in the 3rd DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) Research Conference on Decent Work on December 12, 2014 at the Labor and Governance Learning Center. The annual event also featured topics under the areas of labor relations, workers’ welfare and social protection.
Few with skills certification, professional qualifications license
Riguer noted that only a few of the HSWs in the two destination countries had certification of skills or license for professional qualifications, constraining their chances of securing alternative jobs.
Filipino HSWs in Hong Kong or Dubai, if provided with the required documents, are generally fit to be “administrative and managerial worker; architect, engineer and related technician; assistant manager (catering and lodging service), cook, baker, waiter, bartender, and related worker,” highlights the study.
They can also be “economist; electronics fitter; jewelry and precious metal worker; maid and related housekeeping service worker; medical X-Ray technician; midwife; nurse; pharmacist and dark-room worker; surveyor, geodetic engineer, draftsman; and teacher.”
Riguer recommended that further skills development and enhancement training be given to domestic workers, particularly by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). She added that facilitation be rendered to them by the Philippine Regulations Commission and TESDA in obtaining skills certification and license for professional qualifications.
Moderate entry facilitation, retention
In the PJEPA study, Atty. Tabladillo identified the following weaknesses of the EPA program: 1) not relevant on-the-job training; 2) insufficiency of the language training program; 3) limited duration of the contract under the Program.
Meanwhile, the rate for facilitated entry stood moderately at 66%, or 784 nurses and careworkers deployed out of the 1,186 vacancies in Japan. Retention among the subjects fared also only moderately as some passers decided to return and stay in the Philippines due to work-related stress.
Atty. Tabladillo recommended a language proficiency level requirement for aspiring Filipino nurses and careworkers before prior to deployment to Japan. She added that the period of stay on-site should be extended to at least five years to learn the Japanese language and culture and their implications on the health profession. She also mentioned that relevant on-the-job training should be instituted under the Program.
RONELL J. DELERIO