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Work in Japan : Filipino Nurses News – Latest & Hottest News about Pinoy Nurses Worldwide

Pinoy nurses and caregivers will benefit from JPEPA starting this year

January 17, 2009 · Filed Under In the news, Work in Japan · Comment 

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


JPEPA – Good for Philippine Economy But Disadvantageous To Filipino Nurses?

October 12, 2008 · Filed Under In the news, Work in Asia, Work in Japan · 1 Comment 

Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement or JPEPA has been ratified by the Senate last week in spite of the many opposition and disgusto about it since it started in the lower house plenary.  JPEPA boasts to help the ailing economic relationship with Japan heal its wounds.

Senators approving the treaty believed JPEPA needs to be ratified, otherwise, Japanese foreign direct investment and earnings from Philippine exports to Japan may go to other Southeast Asian countries where Japan has economic partnership agreements.

But why is there a lot of opposition to this so-called economic treaty?

Concerned groups and oppositors have expressed their concerns on the treaty even before this came to the Senate for debate.  The contention is that it is unconstitutional since it violates the protectionist provisions in the Constitution.  And the group that will be affected are Filipino nurses who wants to work in Japan.

The detractors believed that this same treaty will also become a “template” for other developed countries to exploit our OFWs particularly Pinoy nurses in exchange for economic and trade exchanges.  And you know that we reported earlier that even the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) supports the call to junk the JPEPA during the legislative deliberation.

The impact is debilitating for most of our ordinary countrymen seeking healthcare-related jobs in Japan.  For nurses, they will first work and get paid as trainees while preparing for the nursing licensure exam in the Japanese language. If they fail to pass the exam within a three-year period, they will have to return to the Philippines.

The treaty compromises Filipino nurses’ labor standards, job security, migrant and labor rights, benefits and wages, and other protection for healthcare workers and caregivers. Many believe that the trade agreement’s provision on labor services would compromise Filipino health workers and put them in a very vulnerable position.

16 Philippine senators voted in favor of the Treaty which is described to be as “onerous trade agreement.”  Only four senators voted against the JPEPA.


Indonesian Nurses Were Accepted in Japan; Pinoy Nurses in Japan to follow?

August 8, 2008 · Filed Under In the news, Work in Asia · Comment 

Japan has open its doors Indonesian nurses and caregivers. About 200 of them set foot on Japanese soil to help fill up the need for labor shortages in the healthcare industry.

Japan, known to be very stringent in their immigration laws, has finally succumbed to the needs of its aging population and admitted to the world they need the help of their Asian neighbors to take care of their old and sick population.

These Indonesian nurses are part of the 1,000 strong contingent slated to go to Japan within the next 2 years after the free trade pact took effect between the two countries on July 1. These Indonesian nurses are expected to work full time in hospitals and nursing-care facilities. They are expected to be trained for six months to learn the Japanese language before starting to work as nurses.

This is good news for the Indonesian nurses. We are hoping the same can be reached between the Philippines and Japan in the very near future to help boost the demand of our nurses worldwide.




Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) Supports the Calls to Junk JPEPA Movement

May 12, 2008 · Filed Under Insights, Work in Asia · 1 Comment 

The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), after careful interpretation and deliberation on the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement or JPEPA, has supported the calls to junk the supposedly economic agreement that will benefit both countries.

Unfortunately, similar to the views of other independent organizations and private sectors, PNA believes that this agreement will not benefit the Philippines (especially our nurses) as whole but Japan. The perceived effect is that there will be an imbalance on the economic commitments favoring Japan as well as those in the unfavorable movement of workers like Nurses as well as the issue on allowing toxic junk to hit Philippine shores from Japan.

Specific to the nursing profession is the lack of true opportunity for Filipino nurses to be at par with the Japanese nurses. The hardship of entry and further study (not to mention the cultural shock the Pinoy nurses have to face) needed for the job is not at all attractive to the Filipino nurses.

Here is an excerpt from the statement released by PNA:

The disadvantages to Filipino nurses who wish to land jobs in Japan under the JPEPA far outweigh the advantages, as evidenced by the following:

 The hassle of undergoing 6 months of language training before a Filipino nurse can start work as a trainee, under the supervision of a Japanese nurse;

 Learning the language is not a guarantee that the Filipino nurse will get the equivalent of the work status of the Japanese nurse, unless the Filipino nurse passes the Japanese board exam.

 In the event the Filipino nurse fails the board exams, his/her working visa may be extended only twice which means that the maximum stay in Japan is only 3 years.

 On the other hand, the Filipino caregiver, after 6 months of language training, can already work in a health care facility or a nursing home for the aged. However, under JPEPA, a caregiver is required to have a bachelor’s degree and must be certified as a caregiver by the Philippine government (which is not the case for our caregivers).

 The cost of living in Japan is one of the highest in the world. Filipino nurses will not only make adjustments in terms of the medium of communication and the culture but also the high cost of living which will eat up a large chunk of whatever difference in pay a nurse receives from working as a trainee in a Japanese hospital.

So if you wish to work in Japan, think again. Your fellow nurses are clearly not advising you to do that for now or until this JPEPA issue is laid to rest.

Here is the PNA statement that you can read online.