THE Philippine Overseas Workers Administration has announced that South Korea needs 5,000 new workers but advised applicants to prepare at least a minimum of P50,000 for expenses and a lot of patience and perseverance.
The POEA will not accept applicants for the Employment Permit System unless the worker has passed the EPS-TOPIK, which stands for Employment Permit System --Test of Proficiency in Korean. It is a Korean Language Test conducted twice a year (April and October) for people who study the language overseas.
If an applicant passes the EPS-TOPIK he should proceed with the medical examination and submit the requirements needed by the POEA.
Assuming the EPS-TOPIK passers have no problem with medical and documents, the POEA will then forward his/her name to HRD Korean to be listed on the roster of passers that Korean companies can choose from whenever they are in need of Filipino workers.
Aspiring OFWs should first take a Korean Language seminar which ranges from P15,000 to P20,000 in many Korean language schools in Metro Manila.
Then the applicant has to take the KLT-Korean Language Test which costs another P5,000.
If he fails the test, the applicant has to retake it until he passes since his application will not be accepted by the POEA.
Applicants also have to undergo a medical exam fee, which costs another P5,000.
Then the applicant has to wait for HRD Korean to process his qualifications for the right job in Korea.
The POEA also announced that the worker has to pay for processing fees which includes OWWA fee of $25, insurance, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, his/her visa and plane ticket, all of which could amount to P30,000.
Industry players said this arrangement with South Korea is in contrast with the POEA standard employment contract that employers have to pay for airfare to the job site including the OWWA fee.
An OFW applying will incur an expenses of more than P50,000 for a job with a minimum salary of $1,200 or P60,000; with overtime pay, one can earn from P80,000 to P100,000 for a four-year contract.
There are over 30,000 Filipinos in South Korea, most of them are documented and working for the Korean middle and small scale factories and their jobs are considered to be 3 Ds (dirty, dangerous and difficult). However, many Filipinos are used to working in that kind of environment just to be able to send half of their salaries home.