MANILA - The Philippines ranked second in terms of efficiency in sending Filipino workers to South Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS).

"The data highlights presented by the Human Resources Development Korea (HRD Korea) covering all 15 countries participating in the EPS place the Philippines in a very positive light," Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said.

It only takes the POEA about 50 days to process EPS workers for South Korea. But Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz challenged the POEA to cut down the process cycle time to less than 45 days or even to 30 days.

The DOLE congratulated the government of South Korea on the occasion of the 10th anniversary celebration of the EPS, a government-to-government arrangement whereby Korean employers who fail to hire local workers are allowed to employ foreign workers in certain Korean industries.

"I congratulate the government of South Korea for a running success such as the EPS. The Philippines, as one of the EPS-participating countries, has enormously benefited from this overseas employment arrangement, and I am grateful for this opportunity that has provided employment to over 39,418 OFWs over the last 10 years,” said Baldoz.

The Philippines sent the first batch of 99 OFWs to South Korea under the EPS on August 31, 2004.Starting with only US$500 salary per month, the salary of an EPS worker has double to more than US$1,000 per month.

Aside from the Philippines, Other countries participating in the Korea EPS are Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and East Timor.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has reduced the number of illegal stayers in South Korea over the last three years from 30.6 percent in December 2012 to only 19.6 percent in June this year.

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