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1st Semester 2009 Accomplishment Report

1st Semester 2009 Accomplishment Report

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Published by: dcabato on Jul 15, 2009
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POLO-TokyoFirst Semester 2009 Accomplishment ReportIntroduction
Japanese companies are rebuilding inventories steadily due to some improvements inthe manufacturing sector. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry(METI), industrial output increased 5.9 percent from the previous month, rising for thethird straight month in May 2009. Moreover, manufacturers estimate that output willcontinue but at a slower rate in June and July this year. Household spending, a keyindicator of private consumption, also increased 0.3 percent in May from a year earlier,owing mainly to the government
’ 
s "eco-points" program that pushed sales of someenergy-efficient electronic items and the recent swine flu fears which obliged consumersto spend more on healthcare products.But while manufacturing companies in Japan may be starting to increase production,they are not hiring yet. The Bank of Japan
’ 
s closely watched "tankan" survey indicatedthat large manufacturers are still hesitant to invest and that business sentiment at smallcompanies is weakening. Japan
’ 
s unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 5.2 percent inMay 2009, the highest in more than five (5) years. The Ministry of Internal Affairs andCommunications said that the total number of unemployed persons went up by 770,000from a year ago to 3.47 million in May 2009. Underscoring this bleak jobs environmentis a recent report of the Labor Ministry on the ratio of job offers to job seekers where ithit the lowest record of 0.44. The figure suggests that there were only about 44 joboffers for every 100 job seekers. All told, the figures provide the latest evidence that the worst of the recession mayhave passed and reflect some positive impacts of the government stimulus package.Nevertheless, the Japanese government is still concerned about the severe situationssmall and medium-size companies face compared to large companies. So far, wagesand the jobs market have not improved and will most likely limit spending by Japaneseconsumers. Against this backdrop, POLO-Tokyo pursued its objectives of employment facilitation,OFW protection and welfare services, policy advocacy and networking for the periodended June 2009. The following are the highlights of POLO-
Tokyo’s accomplishments
during the period covered:
 
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Employment FacilitationOn-site Verification of Employment Contracts
. The number of companiesrecommended to POEA for accreditation as principals expanded by about fifteen (15)times (+839) in the period ended June 2009. This figure is mainly due to theresumption of the authentication and/or verification of documents for Filipinoperforming artists in Japan since September 2008. As a consequence, the Post referredto POEA a total of 898 companies from 59 companies recorded last year (Table 1).
Table 1: On-site Verification of Employment Contracts and Issuance of OECs and ECCs,First Semester 20091
st
SEM 2009 1
st
SEM 2008 Increment
Number of Contracts RecommendedFor Registration to POEA
898
59 +839Number of OECs Issued
687
706 -19Total Amount Collected from OEC Fee(In Local Currency: Yen)
176,950
529,500Number of ECCs Issued
46
85 -39
Source:
POLO Tokyo, 1
st
Semester 2009
On-site Issuance of Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC)
. From January toJune 2009, the number of OECs issued on-site totaled 687 (down by 2.69 percent)OECs issued benefiting the same number of OFWs compared to 706 OECs issued on thesame period last year. This figure translated to about ¥176,950 collected for thepayment of the OEC fee which is 66.58 percent lower than the amount collected lastyear. This is due mainly to a decrease in the collection fee amount from ¥750 per OEClast year to just ¥200 per OEC in February and ¥250 starting May this year.
On-site Issuance of Escrow Clearance Certificates (ECC)
. Escrow clearancecertificates (ECCs) were also issued at Post to assist principals who were withdrawingescrow bond deposits because of cessation of their business operations. From Januaryto June this year, 46 ECCs were issued which is lower compared to the 85 ECCs issuedlast year.
 
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Table 2: On-site Verification of Documents, First Semester 20091
st
SEM 2009 1
st
SEM 2008 Increment
Total Number of Documents Verified On-site
118 117
+1Job Orders 28 29Recruitment Agreements 28 29Manning Agreements 5 2Special Power of Attorney 27 28Trade License (Company Registration) 30 29Total Number of Workers Involved (as per Job Order)
2,014 2,053
-39Overseas Performing Artists 1,561 441Seafarers/Manning Personnel 0 20Skilled Workers (i.e., engineers, IT workers) 453 1,592
Source:
POLO Tokyo, 1
st
Semester 2009
On-site Verification/Review of Documents
. The verification/review of documentsrelated to the hiring of Filipino workers basically ensures that the contract (between theFilipino worker and his employer in Japan) is in compliance with POEA rules andregulations and its terms and conditions are at par with what is prescribed underJapanese laws and standards. For the first semester of 2009, about 118 documentswere verified by POLO-Tokyo, benefiting 2,014 workers. Verified documents during thefirst half of 2009 involved contracts of overseas performing artists (1,561) andengineers and other skilled workers/professionals (453). Looking more closely at thesefigures, the number of skilled workers involved decreased by 72 percent from 1,592 to453 workers, due mainly to the lingering effects of the global financial crisis whereinrecruitment of skilled personnel by Japanese companies was severely affected.Surprisingly, the number of overseas performing artists involved was not as greatlyaffected but instead grew by more than three-folds from 441 last year to 1,561requests for overseas performing artists in the first semester of 2009.
Labor Market Information.
As of June 2009, Post prepared a total of 37 reportswhich included policy recommendations forwarded to DOLE Head office.

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