The new Philippine representative to Taiwan said he hoped his government would hammer out a deal with brokers so that about 4,000 Philippine workers waiting to enter Taiwan could do so by Dec. 14.
Taiwan has three requirements for allowing entry to Filipino workers, including that they be vaccinated and screened for COVID-19 before arriving, Wilfredo Fernandez, chairman and resident representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), said on Tuesday.
He said the third requirement, that workers quarantine for at least three days in the Philippines before arriving in Taiwan, has led to a problem that has not been resolved: Who should cover the cost of the three-day quarantine?
MECO has told Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that brokers should pay the bill, said Fernandez, who assumed his post in September.
“I think the agencies should pay, because they make money out of the workers,” he said.
The agencies also benefit if the workers are deployed sooner, as they no longer need to take care of them, he said, possibly referring to the cost of brokers putting up workers at their training centers while they wait to be deployed.
The three-day quarantine requirement has been sent to the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment for review, and the Philippine labor secretary would discuss the issue with brokers, so that they prepare the workers to head to Taiwan using the formula MECO proposed, he said.
Dec. 14 has been set as a deadline because the entry of migrant workers into Taiwan would be suspended from Dec. 15 to Feb. 14 to leave room in quarantine facilities for the many Taiwanese expected to return home for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Taiwan only reopened its borders to Indonesian migrant workers on Nov. 11, and negotiations have been held with the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to lift the ban on their workers.
Taiwan first banned the entry of migrant workers from Indonesia in December last year due to the COVID-19 situation there.
On May 19, it banned entry of almost all foreign nationals without residency, including migrant workers, following a spike in domestic COVID-19 cases in Taiwan.
The ban has resulted in labor shortages in Taiwan’s high-tech and construction sectors, and among Taiwanese families, who rely on migrant workers as caregivers.
Migrant workers are subject to a 14-day quarantine period and an additional seven-day self-health management period in government facilities after arriving, meaning they have to spend a total of 21 days in quarantine, the Ministry of Labor has said.
That differs from the requirements for other arrivals, who can return home for the self-health management period and lead their lives as usual, as long as they do not attend large-scale gatherings or eat in large groups.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
‘ORDINARY PEOPLE’: A man watching Taiwanese military drills said that there would be nothing anyone could do if the situation escalates in the Taiwan Strait Many people in Taiwan look upon China’s military exercises over the past week with calm resignation, doubting that war is imminent and if anything, feeling pride in their nation’s determination to defend itself. After a visit to Taiwan last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China has sent ships and aircraft across an unofficial buffer between Taiwan and China’s coast and missiles over Taipei and into waters surrounding the nation since Thursday last week. However, Rosa Chang, proudly watching her son take part in Taiwanese military exercises that included dozens of howitzers firing shells into the Taiwan Strait off
BILINGUAL PLAN: The 17 educators were recruited under a program that seeks to empower Taiwanese, the envoy to the Philippines said The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan. The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said. Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed. Among the first group is 57-year-old
Police have detained a Taoyuan couple suspected of over the past two months colluding with human trafficking rings and employment scammers in Southeast Asia to send nearly 100 Taiwanese jobseekers to Cambodia. At a media briefing in Taipei yesterday, the Criminal Investigation Bureau presented items seized from the couple, including alleged victims’ passports, forged COVID-19 vaccination records, mobile phones, bank documents, checks and cash. The man, surnamed Tsai (蔡), and his girlfriend, surnamed Tsan (詹), were taken into custody last month, after police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport stopped four jobseekers from boarding a flight to Phnom Penh, said Dustin Lee (李泱輯),