China eyed as alternative employment destination for OFWs

Following the deployment ban on Kuwait due to the death of an overseas Filipino worker, the Philippines and China are set to forge a bilateral deal to allow more Filipino migrant workers to Beijing.

“We will sign a bilateral agreement with China on OFW deployment,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was quoted as saying in a GMA News report on Saturday.

According to Bello, signing of the deal was supposed to take place last November during Manila’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations last November, but the Chinese government asked for more time to review the agreement.
“But now we will proceed with the signing,” Bello said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that he will ask China to “open its doors” for Filipino workers, adding that the neighboring Asian country is in need of teachers and domestic helpers.

Bello also disclosed that there are currently 300,000 jobs available in Beijing for OFWs.

“There is a big demand for English teachers in China, kasi gusto yata ng mga Chinese na matutong mag-Ingles ‘yung mga anak nila,” he said.

Although not considered as one of the top destinations for OFWs, the demand for workers in China is prompted by the lack of local employees that are fluent in speaking in English.

The bilateral agreement between the two countries is set to be signed next month, and this will set guidelines on the salaries, work hours, benefits, and other employment rules for OFWs there, as well as measures on protecting the rights of Filipino immigrant workers.