DOLE Talks with the Japanese Government on PJEPA Sub-Committee on Movement of Natural Persons and Special Sub-Committee on Mutual Recognition

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had a video conference with the Government of Japan on Philippine Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA) Sub-Committee on Movement of Natural Persons (SC-MNP) and Special Sub-Committee on Mutual Recognition (SSC-MR) last 18 June 2014.

The Philippine panel was chaired by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac for the SC-MNP, and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Chairperson Teresita Manzala for the SSC-MR. The Japan panel was chaired by Co-Chair and Senior Coordinator of the Economic Partnership Division of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Daisuke Okabe for both committees.

In the video conference, Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) Director Dominique Tutay presented the proposed framework for deployment and monitoring movement of natural persons under the PJEPA.

“This framework was developed in anticipation of the full implementation of the provisions stated in the PJEPA, and will serve as a reference of possible future arrangements similar to the current system of deployment for nurses and careworkers”, BLE Director Tutay said.

PRC Chairperson Manzala presented the proposed mutual recognition agreement (MRA) framework or engineers. She noted that the Philippines do not have any bilateral agreement with any country on this matter and instead referred to the established APEC Engineering Agreement.

POEA Administrator Cacdac mentioned from the previous meeting of Special Sub-Committee in Nurses and Careworkers the possibility of a Dispute Settlement clause for both sides. Both sides agreed that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Japan should coordinate with Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Second Southeast Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the possibility of developing a mechanism that can be adopted for nurses and careworkers in cases of possible complaints and cases.