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Filipinos eye jobs in Taiwan as relations back to normal

Filipinos eye jobs in Taiwan as relations back to normal

Manila, Aug. 12 (CNA) Well over 100 Filipino workers flocked to Taiwan's representative office in Manila on Monday to apply for work visas days after Taipei and Manila settled a dispute over the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard officers. According to the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, 111 Philippine nationals went to the office to apply for work visas in Taiwan in the morning alone even as Typhoon Utor was battering the northern part of the country, including Manila. Taiwan imposed a hiring freeze on Filipino workers and took other retaliatory measures against Manila six days after Philippine Coast Guard personnel attacked a Taiwanese fishing boat on May 9 in the two countries' overlapping economic waters and killed fisherman Hung Shih-cheng. The sanctions, including the hiring freeze, were lifted on Aug. 8 after Manila met Taiwan's key demands to resolve the fracas, including officially apologizing to Hung's family and offering it compensation. Because Friday was a national holiday in the Philippines, Monday was the first day Filipinos had the chance to apply for work visas since the hiring freeze was ended, and they turned out in sizable numbers. Taiwan is a popular destination for Philippine workers seeking to work overseas because of its high wage levels and proximity to home. A middle-aged female manpower broker told CNA that she was happy that relations between the two countries have returned to normal -- a development she said would benefit both Filipino workers and brokerage firms. Many Philippine workers are hoping to get Taiwan visas soon so that they can quickly earn money and pay off debts incurred from the high fees they paid brokerages to help them get hired in Taiwan, she said. A Philippine man said he wanted to go to Taiwan "as soon as possible" so that he can earn more money to support his family in the Philippines "as early as possible." (By Emerson Lam and Flor Wang)


Updated : 2021-06-20 14:36 GMT+08:00