Volume 1

Issue 1

November 2007


eoul, South Korea – The Filipino EPS W orkers Association (FEWA) inducted its new set of officers at the St. Benedict Catholic Church Annex building, H yehwa-dong last September 2, 2007. Labor Attaché (Labatt), Atty. Delmer R. Cruz of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) presided over the oath taking ceremony for the newly elected officers. In his message, he reminded them of their duties and responsibilities as leaders of fellow EPS workers and the community as a whole. “A leader must be a servant.” Labatt Cruz said. Fr. Alvin Parantar, MSP of Archdiocesan Pastoral Center for Filipino Migrants in Seoul delivered an inspirational message on the occasion. He shared his fulfilling experiences as parish priest in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, where he also served as adviser to different people’s organizations, mostly in urban centers. He added that EPS workers must learn to be thankful for the opportunity of working in South Korea, and cultivate a sense of stewardship. He also emphasized the importance of building a positive image of OFWs. The soft spoken priest encouraged the new officers to leave a lasting legacy to the organization. “Sana kasama ng inyong mga members, gagampanan ninyo ang inyong tungkulin ng may katapatan at sipag,” the priest said. “The Filipino Catholic Center in Seoul is a pro-worker institution and I think we should go on serving the Filipino

migrant workers together,” he assured the group. In a video message, FEWA A d v i s e r E m e l y Dicolen-Abagat, Ph.D. congratulated the FilipinoEPS Workers Association FEWA oath taking ( Left – Right ) Board Members: (FEWA) and the outgoing Marcelino Serdeña, Bernard Aque, Aquilino Juanites Jr. , Joel Petallana and Alwyin Casiño. Sofonias officers. “Nakatapos na Paragsa- Vice President, Loreto Agustin –President kayo ng isang taon; alam and Labor attaché, Atty. Delmer R. Cruz inducting ko napakahirap ng officer ( extreme right ) Not in photo are Board organizing stage but at Members Engr. Rogelio Domingo, Julius Caesar least nalampasan ninyo, Ocampo and Charlie Compra. and you are now on your second year. To the outgoing officers, congratulations! You have done a good job, you really did well, saludo ako sa inyo”, she said.
(turn to page 8)

Issues and Challenges under the Employment Permit System
By: Joyce Ann O. Dela Cruz
The author is a graduate student of Asian Studies major in Korean Studies from the Asian Center, University of the Philippines – Diliman. She is an awardee of Exchange Fellowship Programme under ASEAN-ROK Academic Exchange Programme 2007 facilitated by the ASEAN University Network through which the conduct of field research in South Korea was made possible. Currently, she is also working as a Research Analyst for the Occupational Safety and Health Center, Department of Labor and Employment.


ssisted by Fr. GlennGiovanni B. Jaron, MSP, visiting Manila Archbishop, His Eminence Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales D.D., led the Holy Mass held at Tongsong auditorium in Hyehwa-dong last September 23, 2007.

In his homily, the Cardinal explained how Christianity gained its foothold in the country. “There are 103 saints here in Korea. Ironically, our country, hailed as a predominantly Christian nation in Asia, has one saint; and he is not a cardinal, not a bishop nor a priest but a layman - San Lorenzo Ruiz,” he (turn to page 8) remarked.

he Philippines is among the first countries to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South Korea in August 2004 to implement the new Employment Permit System EPS. Currently, Overseas Filipino Workers OFWs in South Korea is comprised of 18, 665 or about 24 percent of the foreign workers, ranking only second to Vietnamese workers.
( turn to page 8)



A deeper glance to Filipino’s Heart, Mind and Soul


The Voice of the Modern Living Heroes

eople need information. We need knowledge that will help us understand our society, create a healthy environment and nurture our well-being. Active and effective participation in the community is based on our ability to speak, listen, read, and write with understanding, consistency, confidence, purpose, and enjoyment. These values gave birth to the creation of this publication.


he voice of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) under the Employment Permit System (EPS) in South Korea has finally found a venue to be heard, the SULYAPINOY newsletter. SULYAPINOY aims to deliver news and information that directly affect the lives and working conditions of our fellow Filipino migrant workers in South Korea. SULYAPINOY will always strive to make its articles informative. It will provide basic Korean labor laws, basic Korean language, updates and announcements from the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Justice, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Philippine Embassy and other related organizations. It will also be a channel for expressing opinions as well as ideas from among fellow EPS workers in order to develop a two - way communication process between FEWA officers and its members. We hope that this will serve as an instrument to improve our collective working conditions here in Korea. On the other hand, we would like to extend our deep gratitude to the following individuals for their significant contributions to this newsletter: Fr. Alvin Parantar, MSP – our editorial consultant, for helping us turn our dream of having a newsletter into a reality; Engr. Wayne D. Manabat for the SULYAPINOY logo design; all FEWA Officers and volunteer members; our Spiritual Adviser Fr. Glenn Giovanni B. Jaron, MSP and FEWA Adviser Prof. Emely Dicolen-Abagat, Ph.D.; Fr. Eugene Docoy, SVD, Bro. Jojo Geronimo, and Prof. Luz Suplico; Mr. Simon Choi and Mr. Kim Jae of OK Vision Asia. Our sincerest gratitude also goes to Her Excellency Ambassador Susan Castrence, Labor Attaché Delmer R. Cruz, OWWA Senior Officer Elizabeth Marie Estrada and all POLO Staff, Joyce Ann dela Cruz and Ms. Armida Geronimo of the University of the Philippines. Words may not be enough but we would like to express our earnest gratefulness to everyone who supported us in achieving our organization’s goals and objectives. Above all, we are grateful to our Almighty God for the inspiration, wisdom, strength and courage.

“Sulyap,” a Filipino word which means “To take a glance” is the origin of this newsletter's name: SULYAPINOY. The eye (cf. newsletter’s logo design) is a vital instrument in capturing the unfolding of events in the society where we, EPS workers, belong to. SULYAPINOY aims to capture every relevant issue, may it be political, economic, social and cultural. Our objective is to gather and deliver informative, fair and balanced reportage. We will pursue our objectives to the best of our ability and the limits of time by seeking out multiple sources of information. And, where the facts are clear, we hope we will not fail in explaining what they essentially reveal. On the other hand, as a saying goes, “The eye is the window of our soul,” so likewise SULYAPINOY seeks to embody and express the thoughts, sentiments and aspirations of the Filipino Migrant Workers in Korea. SULYAPINOY hopes to become the voice of the so called Modern Living Heroes.

Editor-in-Chief: Rebenson B. Recaña News Editor: Edward A. Castro Feature Editor: Elizer M. Peñaranda Literary Editor: Amie Sison Sports Editor: Dondave Jabay
Circulation Managers: Alwyin A. Casiño, Aquilino J. Juanites Jr. Contributors: Sofonias N. Paragsa, Aquilino J. Juanites Jr. Mike Balba, Rebeck Beltran, Joyce Ann O. Dela Cruz Layout: blythe Graphics: Wayne D. Manabat Adviser: Dinah A. Magat Consultant: Fr. Alvin Parantar, MSP Office Address: 115-9 Songbuk-gu, Songbuk-dong, Seoul Korea Editorial Address: OK AIRTEL VISION ASIA, Vision Bldg. # 85-3, Hyehwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea (in front of the Hyehwa-dong Catholic Church) Line 4 (Blue) Exit # 1 Tel. No. 02-744-0066




Archdiocesan Pastoral Center for Filipino Migrants
MESSAGE Congratulations to the Filipino EPS Workers Association for creating SULYAPINOY newsletter. I hope this will be

Congratulations to the officers and members of the Filipino EPS Workers Association (FEWA) for the launch of SULYAPINOY! This new initiative undoubtedly is another step forward in FEWA's service-oriented advocacy. A newsletter is an effective tool in further empowering Filipino workers in Korea particularly through the dissemination of basic information about labor laws and proper procedures in dealing with the Korean authorities. The publication will likewise keep Pinoys abreast of current goings-on in their community, not to mention the spice that will be offered by its entertainment, literary and sports sections. Indeed, SULYAPINOY, as its name connotes, will be a truly Pinoy paper for Pinoys in Korea. I encourage FEWA to continue with its unwavering dedication to the service of Pinoy workers in Korea, the FilCom, and our beloved country. Mabuhay!

another good venue to transmit reliable, better and accurate information. I hope that this publication will be able to answer many of the questions that our kababayans are asking regarding labor issues and problems.

More power to FEWA and God bless all your efforts in assisting your fellow migrant workers.

(Sgd.) Susan O. Castrence Ambassador

(Sgd.) Fr. Glenn Giovanni B. Jaron, MSP Spiritual Adviser– FEWA

I wish to congratulate the officers and members of FEWA, especially its new President, Loreto and immediate Past President, Reeve, for coming up with a newsletter entitled SULYAPINOY. Already, FEWA, under the guidance of its advisers, Fathers Glenn and Alvin, Dr. Emely and Ms. Dinah, has been at the forefront of active service to Filipino EPS workers in Korea. FEWA’s members and volunteers have selflessly devoted even their supposed rest time in assisting and counseling distressed OFWs. Indeed, FEWA’s maiden publication of SULYAPINOY is another milestone in its track record of unflinching dedication to service, for it shall serve as a forum for timely information, relevant education and exchange of creative ideas among OFWs. FEWA undoubtedly has lived up to its motto, “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God”. Mabuhay ang FEWA! Mabuhay ang Filipino!
(Sgd.) Atty. DELMER R. CRUZ Labor Attaché

Archdiocesan Pastoral Center for Filipino Migrants

KUDOS!!!!!!!! My sincerest greetings to all FEWA officers and members for coming up with the maiden issue of the SULYAPINOY, the newsletter of the Filipino EPS Workers Association. This project is a big leap towards the dissemination of important information concerning the EPS workers and to all its members, and to the Filipino Community in Korea, in general. In addition, this is a good way of reaching out to the EPS workers outside Seoul and in enhancing the writing and literary skills of the EPS workers. Let the fire burning!!!! With the talented people in your organization, I am sure that you will be able to achieve the goals and objectives you have designed for this project. Just keep your focus. I share with you my favorite saying…. “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” Give Him back the glory!!!!!

(Sgd.) Prof. Emely Dicolen-Abagat, Ph.D. Adviser– FEWA SULYAPINOY NOVEMBER 2007


Labor Policy Updates on EPS
By: Aquilino J. Juanites Jr.

Note: Foreign workers, both Industrial Trainee System (ITS) and Employment Permit System (EPS) who depart from Korea possessing Certificate of Reemployment and CCVI may reenter Korea one month after the departure date. B. REFUND OF NATIONAL PENSION CONTRIBUTION According to the National Pension System NPS, REFUND can no longer be obtained here in Korea. You can only get it when you go back to the Philippines, though you can apply for LUMP SUM REFUND at any NPS Regional office. The requirements are as follows: Copy of your Alien Registration Card ( ARC ) , Bank account in the Philippines and the accomplish Application for Refund and Application for Overseas Remittance form. The refund will be remitted to designated bank account upon confirmation by the National Pension Office , with the Immigration Office of the exit of the worker from Korea. Note: You can verify your NPS contribution at any NPS Regional Office or log on to www.nps.or.kr

privilege to present you this report. FEWA ORGANIZED FEWA was organized on July 2, 2006, born out of many problems we have encountered ranging from the violation of standard labor contract to outright physical and verbal abuses. It is an organization composed entirely of volunteers sharing resources and efforts for the welfare of our fellow EPS workers. It is a non- stock, non-profit, nonpartisan organization, founded on the principles of God-centeredness, humaneness and patriotism, working for the common good and the empowerment of all Filipino migrant workers. POLO REGISTRATION T h e F i l i p i n o E P S W o rk e r s Association (FEWA) was the first officially registered EPS association at the Philippine Embassy through its labor office known as Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) with registration number OFW-KOREA2006-001.

oday is the kick off of SULYAPINOY, the official publication of FEWA. Allow me to use this precious space of this paper to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to our outgoing set of officers and volunteers for devoting their time, effort and patience to the organization. Their efforts helped ease the burden of our fellow EPS workers who may be suffering from emotional, physical and cultural stress. We salute all of you, congratulations for the job well done. I hope that you always keep FEWA in your hearts. Thank you very much to the former FEWA president Rebenson B. Recaña . I also hope that the new set of officers will do their best , and has the will, honesty and determination to pursue the organization’s objectives. The LABOR POLICY UPDATES section will publish updates from both the sending and host country objectively and accurately in the next issue of our newsletter with the help of Philippine Overseas Labor Office POLO. Furthermore, I would like to inform my fellow EPS workers of the following things: A. Three (3) years - Rehiring or Reemployment System Procedure 1. An employer has to renew labor contract within 30-90 days prior to expiration of worker’s VISA. 2.The employer applies for worker’s Visa, within two (2) weeks upon application and if approved, a Certificate of Confirmation of Visa Issuance (CCVI) is issued by the Immigration Office. In some cases, only a Secret Control Number is given to the employer. Only the CCVI or the Secret Number is required by the Korean Embassy in the Philippines, when the worker applies for Visa. 3. At the POEA, please proceed to the BALIK MANGAGAWA section.


President’s Report

FEWA is also recognized by the Hyehwa-dong Filipino Catholic Community and on April 29, 2007 it was awarded a certificate of appreciation personally given by Fr. Glenn Giovanni B. Jaron, MSP, together with a representative from the Philippine Embassy Vice consul Juan “Jade” Dayang at the Hyehwa-dong Catholic Church. RATIFIED CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS Our association promulgated its constitution and by-laws that reflects the interest of our fellow EPS workers .It was revised to suit its purpose and unanimously approved by the FEWA volunteer members during the referendum exercises on June 24, 2007 and July 1 respectively. This constitution and by-laws will serve as a guide manual for every member of this association in the understanding of its individual rights .Above all, this will serve as reference for the future officers of the association. (To be continued)

t is the privilege of the Filipino EPS W ork ers Association (FEWA) to be entrusted with the responsibility of Rebenson Recaña Past FEWA President establishing and guiding the newly organized EPS association here in South Korea. For a very short period of time, fifty three ( 53 ) days to be exact in my term of office as president, your mandate was my inspiration in the discharged of my duties and responsibilities. It is therefore my





Compiled by Reeve
By: Sofonias ‘Chabok’ Paragsa



Para Sa Iyo Kabayan
Rebeck P. Beltran Isang pagpupugay , pagbati sa tanan, Ang handog nitong pamunuan, Sa inyo mga kapatid at kababayan, Mga manggagawa sa EPS program. Ito pong munting ating pahayagan, nawa'y magdulot ito sa inyo ng kasiyahan. Makapulot tayo para sa ating kaalaman Mga karapatang pwede nating ipaglaban. Matuto nawa tayong maki alam, Mga karapatan ay ating malaman Mga panuntunan, mga batas sa pagawaan, Upang pang-aabuso’y ating maiwasan. Kailangan ang tulong mo aking kapatid, May misyon tayong gampanin, wag ipagkait. Nasa bawat isa'y ating ipabatid, Karapata'y ipag laban sa paraang matuwid.

2. STANDARD LABOR CONTRACT Kullo keyakso 3. HEALTH INSURANCE Kon-gang pohom 4. PASSPORT-Yokwon 5. CERTIFICATE OF ALIEN REGISTRATION ( Alien card ) Wegugin Dungnok-jeung 6 MINISTRY OF LABOR- Nodong-bu 7. MINISTRY OF JUSTICE- Pommu-bu 8. EMPLOYMENT SECURITY CENTER Koyong Anjong Senta 9. HOSPITAL- Pyong-won 10. MEDICAL CERTIFICATE Kon-gang Jindanseo 11. MIGRANT CENTER- Sangdam-seo 12. COMPANY- Hwesa 13. MONTHLY SALARY- Wolgup 14. OVERTIME- Janop 15. NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL Yagan Sudang 16. OVERTIME PAY- Janop-bi 17. SALARY COMPUTATION Wolgup Kesan 18. PAYSLIP- Wolgup Kesan-seo 19. REGULAR TIME Il sigan (working time) 20. BREAKTIME- Shinun sigan 21. HOLIDAY- Konghyu-il 22. BANK- Unheng 23. BANKBOOK- T’ongjang 24. RELEASE PAPER- Koyong Heje-seo 25. BANKRUPT- Podo nassoyo Note: Answers should be in Hanguel.

ACROSS 1. moving star 2 telephone 4. children’s book 7. safety first 9. Sunday 11. Kyeonggi-do city 12. shower DOWN 1. Center for Filipino Community in Korea 3. notebook 5. Tuesday 6. a.m 7 . don’t 8. ancestral rites 9. Japan 10. sunbathing

Tulong mo tulong ko ‘pag pinagsama-sama Lalo na't panalangin ito ang mauuna Sa bawat problemang susuungin ng bawat isa, Solusyon nito'y makakamtan Dahil sa pananalig sa kanya.

Michael B. Balba

F-ilipinong manggagawa dito sa Korea,
Nagbuklod-buklod at nagsama-sama, Sa isang layunin lahat nagkaisa, Ating karapatan ipaglaban t'wina.

E-spesyal talaga ang ating samahan,
Sapagkat marami ang natutulungan, Mga Filipinong mayro'ng dinaramdam Taos puso dito na dinadamayan.

W-ala ngang katulad ang ating samahan,
Pagkat lahat tayo ay magkakaibigan, Laging sama-sama at nagdadamayan, T'wina nasa puso ang panunungkulan.

Become a FEWA member and

A-ko'y nagagalak pagkat napabilang,
At naging kasapi ng ating samahan, Tangi kong dalangin sa Poong Maykapal, Sa lahat ng oras tayo'y bendisyunan.


Membership Forms are available at the FEWA Office (during Sundays only)
115-9 Songbuk-gu, Songbuk-dong, Seoul, Korea or at OK Vision Airtel and Woori Bank Hyehwa-dong Branch









Labatt Cruz inducts… The adviser challenged the new officers saying “Sana mahigitan pa ninyo ang mga nagawa noong nakaraang taon. I hope you will continue the endeavors that had been started last year. As your adviser, nandito lang ako para tumulong and to provide all the trainings and seminars that you need. Ipagpatuloy ninyo ang lahat ng nasimulan, congratulations!” she concluded. The induction was also graced by OWWA Senior Officer, Elizabeth Marie R. Estrada and Welfare Officer Esperanza Cobarrubias, Bro. Moises Robert Olavides- Regent Seminarian of the MSP, PHILTRUST Travel Center President and FEWA AdviserDinah A. Magat, FEWA volunteer members and guests from the different Filipino community organizations. (Reeve) Cardinal Rosales... Moreover, the Cardinal reminded the Filipinos to live out their positive cultural values such as Bayanihan and strong faith in God. He ended his homily by challenging the OFWs here in Korea to uphold their faith in God, to be righteous and cheerful at all times.
On the said occasion, the Hyehwadong Filipino Catholic Community (HFCC), through the Cardinal, gave plaques of recognition to the different organizations and individuals who contributed greatly to the progress and development of the Filipino community. At the end of the Mass, the Prelate asked the congregation to sing a popular religious song to Mary, the Blessed Mother. The following day, the Cardinal visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separated the two Koreas. ( Reeve)

OFW’s in South Korea... They work mostly in the manufacturing sector and small-scale family owned enterprises. They are recruited primarily to do “3D jobs” those identified as dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs rejected by local workers.
The EPS is South Korea’s main labor policy mechanism that implements government to government labor migration of workers to the country. With the goal of enhancing cooperation in the field of labor and human capability building, the Philippine government designated Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) as the primary agency responsible for the sending of workers, and its counterpart Korean Ministry of Labor as the primary Korean government agency responsible for the screening and pre-qualifying of OFWs in Korea. The Employment Permit System The Employment Permit System enables firms, which are not able to find domestic workers, to employ an appropriate number of migrant workers. Under the Employment Permit System, migrant workers are issued unskilled employment visas (E-9) which allows them to find jobs involving manual tasks, sign a labor contract with a Korean employer before entering the country, and work for up to three years at a small -and-medium-sized manufacturer with less than 300 employees in the agricultural, livestock or coastal fishing industries. Labor related laws apply to foreign workers during the period of employment identical to Korean workers such as Labor Standard Act, Minimum Wages Act, Industrial Safety Health Act. They are issued

E-9 sojourn status securing them legal employment status as foreign workers. Issues and Challenges of OFWs under the EPS Under the research grant of the ASEAN University Network Exchange Fellowship Programme 2007, this study was conducted to give focus on the issues and challenges relating to OFWs in South Korea deployed under the Employment Permit System after its introduction in 2004. Researches on OFWs all over the world including studies on migrant workers in South Korea have been conducted in the past, but after three ye a rs o f t h e si gn in g o f t h e Memorandum of Understanding on the EPS between the Philippines and South Korea, there are but limited studies on its implementation and on OFWs deployed under this system. This study aimed to contribute to the existing literature on the topic. This research, largely descriptive and exploratory, utilized the purposive sampling approach. Survey was administered through face to face interviews of sixty OFWs. The researcher conducted the interviews from period August to October 2007 in Seoul, South Korea. The Philippine Overseas Labor Office, the Filipino Catholic Center in Hyewa-dong as well as the Filipino EPS Workers Association (FEWA), a Philippine Overseas Labor Office ( POLO) registered organization of OFWs in South Korea under the EPS program were valuable key informants in this research study. As more and more Filipinos try their luck overseas to work as migrant workers, every country they go to presents a differently new culture and therefore new challenges. Filipino migrant workers in South Korea are no different, they each have their own experiences and stories to tell. (to be continued)

FOR COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS please submit them to the following email addresses: News: sulyap_news@hotmail.com Literary: sulyap_literary@hotmail.com Feature: sulyap_feature@hotmail.com Sports: sulyap_sports@hotmail.com

Different opinions are encourage to stimulate member input and involvement. SULYAPINOYs role is to provide information that permits FEWA members to develop informed opinions on subjects that will affect their status as migrant workers and, in some instances, their personal lives. FEWA does not hold itself responsible for statements made by any contributor. Statements or opinions expressed in SULYAPINOY reflect the views of the author(s) and not the official policy of FEWA unless so stated.
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Editor-in-Chief: sulyap_chiefeditor@hotmail.com

We reserve the right to refuse any submission we deem does not meet our policies and guidelines.

SULYAPINOY is still in need of writers. Aspirants may email the Chief
Editor to the email stated above. Thank you for your time and interest!