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Monday, May 11, 2009

Nearly 400 RP nurses, caregivers leaving for Japan

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MANILA, Philippines - Close to 400 Filipino nurses and caregivers are leaving for Japan this weekend, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported yesterday.

POEA administrator Jennifer Manalili said the workers would be the first batch of Filipino nurses and caregivers to be deployed under the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

“A total of 358 nurses and caregivers who qualified to work in Japan are set to leave either on Friday or Saturday,” Manalili said.

The POEA and the Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services (JICWELS) earlier entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) providing for the recruitment of 1,000 Filipino nurses and caregivers for the next two years.

Under the agreement, an initial batch of 200 Filipino nurses and 300 caregivers would be recruited to work in hospitals and institutions in Japan.

Manalili said the newly hired nurses and caregivers would still undergo a six-month language and culture training, during which they would receive allowance of not less than 40,000 yen, or more than P21,000 per month.

During their three-year stay in Japan, the Filipino nurses are allowed to take the licensure examination and become full-fledged nurses in Japan.

After passing the licensure or certification examinations, the nurse would have the option of staying for an unlimited period in Japan to practice based on new and upgraded employment contract with their employer.

Registered nurses with at least three years’ experience were recruited to work for training and employment in Japan while the caregivers were graduates of a four-year course and certified by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Even with the agreement, Manalili stressed less than 500 nurses and caregivers would be deployed since Japanese health institutions have refrained from hiring new workers because of the prevailing global financial crisis.

Manalili said POEA is working for a bigger batch of workers to be deployed to Japan.

“We are working to fill up a total of 1,000 workers with bigger number of health workers to be deployed in the next batch,” Manalili said.


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