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DOLE sharpens Korean language proficiency onsite

2010-05-21

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today reported that 6,445 prospective overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)
took the Korean Language Test (KLT) in various testing centers nationwide, a pre-requisite in the hiring process of the South
Korean government.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said it has been quite a while that hiring of Filipino workers in Korea
was resumed as the host government made it a strict requirement that prospective OFWs take and pass their language
proficiency test.

Roque said the examinations conducted in Manila, Pampanga, Baguio, Cebu and Davao went smoothly, with no reported
negative or unfavorable incident.

He said the examinations were conducted, led and supervised by the officers and staff of the Korean Human Resource
Department (HRD) headed by HRD Vice President Kim Dongwi, Ministry of Labor Director Min Kil Soo and HRD Director
General Jung Il Sung.

Roque said that in Manila, particularly at the University of the East (UE), there were 3,344 examinees who took the KLT while
2,076 took it in Pampanga, 554 in Baguio City, 310 in Cebu and 161 in Davao.

The labor chief said that for 2010, the Philippines’ quota of workers for South Korea is 7,100, up from last year’s 5,700,
adding that this would mean that up to 7,100 KLT passers can be placed in the roster of job-seekers from where employers
can choose the worker they wish to hire

Roque said many Korean employers prefer Filipino workers, saying further that if the roster of passers is about to be
depleted, a second KLT will be held and most probably on the fourth quarter of 2010.

He said that under the Employment Permit System (EPS) of Korea, workers earn an average of USD 1,000.00 per month.

In a related development, Roque said preparations are on for the signing of an implementing arrangement for the
implementation of Korea’s Returnee Support Program for OFWs.

Roque said this program is patterned after the National Reintegration Program of the Philippines in which returning OFWs
are given a chance to smoothly join the mainstream of society with assistance to training and livelihood programs.

He said Korea’s Returnee Support Program has two components; technical training onsite, usually on Sundays, for business
or employment, and job referral to RP-based Korean companies (for returning workers).

Roque said that last year, as an enhancement of its assistance program for foreign workers, the HRD established Caring
Centers nationwide to provide temporary shelter, food and counseling to workers in between transfer (i.e. workers who have
been released by their employers and are looking for a new employer).

To address the language issue, Roque said Korea’s HRD likewise launched last year the three-way phone conference where
the worker can talk to his employer through an interpreter.