TOKYO – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) formally launched its Japan Employment Facilitation Desk (Japan Desk) in Tokyo and Osaka – a specialized unit that aims to streamline and facilitate the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Japan, one of the Philippines’ key labor markets.
“The creation of the Japan Desk is a testament to the strong labor market partnership between the Philippines and Japan,” DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo Cacdac said in a press release issued on Wednesday.
“We are committed to working with our Japanese counterparts to ensure that Filipino workers have access to safe, stable, and gainful employment opportunities in Japan,” he added.
The Japan Desk will be responsible for monitoring the deployment and return of OFWs in Japan; enforcing and facilitating compliance with prescribed timeframes for actions on Japanese documents, processes, and concerns; serving as the focal unit for Japan concerns; and recommending rewards and incentives for Japanese principals and employers, Japan-registered vessels, and licensed PRAs (Philippine recruitment agencies) and manning agencies.
The establishment of the Japan Desk marks a significant milestone in the history of Philippine overseas employment. It is the first of its kind as it focuses on the processes and services of just one OFW host country. Its creation fulfils a commitment made by the late Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople in February 2023 on the sidelines of the visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation Patricia Yvonne Caunan, who will head the Japan Desk, expressed her gratitude to the late secretary for her unwavering commitment to the welfare of Filipino workers.
“I am honored to carry on Secretary Ople’s legacy by launching the Japan Desk,” she stated.
“We will work tirelessly to ensure that the desk delivers its functions and services with utmost dedication and efficiency,” she added.
The launch of the Japan Desk was warmly welcomed by Japanese government agencies and business organizations, as well as Filipino community leaders and workers who pledged their cooperation and support for this initiative.
Based on figures released by Japan’s Ministry of Justice last July 2023, there are currently 61,766 registered Filipino workers in Japan. They are working in the construction and manufacturing sectors under the Technical Internship Training Program (TITP), as well as in the care workers and professionals categories. - DMW PR