This year 2009, Japan will recruit Filipino nurses and caregivers for training and employment under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). This was disclosed by Labor Secretary Marianito D. Roque in a recently announced statement.
As reported in this blog last year, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Japan International Corp. of Welfare Services (JICWELS) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) providing for the recruitment of Filipino nurses and caregivers to Japan under the Framework for the Movement of Natural Persons of JPEPA, which came into force Dec.11 last year.
There have been strong oppositions to JPEPA by some local groups including the Philippine Nurses Association as they believed that this agreement between the Philippines and Japan is disadvantageous to Filipino nurses. Other sectors that are against JPEPA are afraid that this agreement can become the “template” to exploit other Filipino professionals in exchange for good economic relations with Japan.
In defense, Mr. Roque said the MoU provides for the roles and responsibilities of the two parties and the working conditions for the nurses and caregivers that would ensure their welfare and protection. He said the hiring program would initially recruit 200 nurses and 300 caregivers whom the POEA would endorse to JICWELS.
Mr. Roque said the Pinoy nurses and caregivers will have a fully transparent employment contract and that they will receive the same salaries as that of Japanese counterparts based on similar tasks and qualifications.
Part of the agreement is to train the Filipino nurses primarily on language prior to actual deployment to Japanese hospitals working under the supervision of a Japanese “kangoshi” who will conduct familiarization activities on culture and the Japanese system. While under training, the candidates will receive allowance of not less than ¥40,000 or more than P21,000 per month. Airfare to Japan will be shouldered by employers or the Japanese government.
Registered nurses with at least three years experience are qualified to apply for training and employment in Japan. Qualified Filipino nurses and candidates can apply with the POEA or through the agency’s Web site www.eregister.poea.gov.ph.
New York’s state appeals court on Thursday acquitted the 10 Filipino “Sentosa Nurses” from criminal charges of endangering their patients when they decided to leave their posts in a Long Island nursing home back in 2006.
These Filipino nurses left their jobs in protest against recruitment violations from their employer, Sentosa Recruitment Agency, the company that hired them from the Philippines for a 3-year contract to work in the United States.
In an unprecedented decision, the court also stopped the Suffolk district attorney’s from pursuing further criminal charges against the 10 Filipino nurses along with their lawyer at the time, Felix Vinluan.
The 10 nurses who were acquitted were Elmer Jacinto, Juliet Anilao, Harriet Avila. Mark de la Cruz, Claudine Gamiao, Jennifer Lampe, Rizza Maulion, James Millena, Ma. Theresa Ramos and Ranier Sichon.
Some of the nurses had been working as doctors in the Philippines and took up nursing to be able to work in the US. Jacinto, for instance, a licensed doctor, topped the medical board examinations in 2004.
Ironically, the Sentosa Nurses lost their cases and claims for compensation filed in the Philippines against their employer when the POEA, NLRC and the DOJ dismissed the recruitment and contract violations and illegal dismissal cases.
Last month, it was reported by the POEA that some Middle East countries have expressed their interest to hire our homegrown Filipino nurses.
The POEA has not clarified which countries in the Middle East are hiring but the report says that 5,000 nurses are needed in government hospitals.
The report has not been verified to have bear fruit as of this writing but this is a welcome news to all aspiring Nurses who wants to work abroad. However, Middle East not always the first choice of the Filipino nurses. Pinoy Nurses are known to always choose to work in North America or Europe if they have a chance.