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Regarding a recent series of articles appearing in The Japan Times — “Filipino caregivers sign away their rights” (July 14), “Nursing firm withheld funds from Filipino workers” (July 15) and “Nursing care provider drops death liability waiver for Filipino workers” (July 16): The Embassy of the Philippines in Tokyo is seriously concerned about the reported employment of Filipino care workers on the basis of unfair and questionable provisions incorporated in their labor contracts.

Initial inquiries undertaken by the Philippine government show that the company mentioned is not among those accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration for employing Filipino care workers. Moreover, the company is not among the institutions duly recognized by the Philippines and Japan as acceptable for hiring Filipino care workers under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The concerned corporation has reportedly been hiring Filipino care workers since 2009.

While the corporation engaged in these controversial practices has since withdrawn and modified them, the embassy believes the company’s activities must continue to be vigilantly monitored and observed. The embassy, therefore, continues to support the ongoing investigation by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare into the company’s employment practices. The embassy is closely coordinating with the Japanese government in resolving this important concern.

The embassy and its Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Tokyo accord paramount importance to the welfare of Filipino workers employed in Japan. There are currently more than 200,000 Filipinos residing here. They constitute the third-largest group of foreign nationals — after Chinese and Koreans.

While a number of these Filipinos are in Japan to work as care workers under the EPA, some are married to Japanese nationals and augment their families’ incomes as care workers. To ensure conformity with Philippine labor standards, POLO verifies Filipinos’ employment contracts here. We also stand ready to assist Filipinos who have valid complaints against unfair labor practices being perpetrated against them.

manuel m. lopez
ambassador of the philippines

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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