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OFWs in Korea given 1-year extension of stay: POLO exec

The contracts of Filipinos working in South Korea under the Employment Permit System have been extended for one year*

The period of stay and employment of overseas Filipino workers in Korea, who are under the Employment Permit System (EPS) and whose contract term expires within the period April 13, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021, has been extended for one year.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Labor Attaché Maya Valderrama of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Korea cited the recent issuance from Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) and the Ministry of Justice on the relevant amendment to the Act on Employment of Foreign Workers that extends the stay of foreign workers, given the prevailing condition brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The issuance provides that the stay and employment period of foreign workers (E-9 and H-2) under the EPS and whose employment period (three years or four years and 10 months) expires from April 13 to Dec. 31, 2021 is extended for one year.

Valderrama said the MOEL expects that this measure will resolve the difficulties of workers entering and leaving the country during the pandemic, and the manpower shortage of small and medium-sized companies.

Bello thanked the Seoul government for the move that will benefit hundreds of workers in Korea.

“We welcome this unprecedented employment measure extended by the Republic of Korea to our EPS workers, especially during this time of the pandemic. The preservation of jobs of our OFWs everywhere in the world is our primordial concern, and this development highlights the value of our 15 years of continuing bilateral cooperation on labor with the ROK,” Bello said in a news release yesterday.

According to the guidelines, the extension period of stay and employment also applies to EPS workers who have been given a 50-day visa extension by ROK’s authorities, provided that the extended period also falls within April 13 to Dec. 31, 2021.

This extension of stay and employment period of eligible foreign workers will be automatically implemented by the ROK effective April 13, through applications submitted by the respective employers.

The EPS is a government-to-government hiring system that allows Korean employers to legally employ foreign workers in cases of unavailability in the local workforce. It is managed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration as the sending agency with the Human Resource Development Service in Korea as its counterpart.

The Philippines was the first sending country that signed the Memorandum of Understanding on EPS with ROK in 2004.*PNA

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