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Drawing Lessons from the Experiences of Filipino Nurses and Careworkers Under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA)

The paper identifies the issues and challenges encountered by Filipino nurses and careworkers while working in Japan. For the period 2009-2013, the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement or PJEPA has facilitated the entry of 784 Filipino nurses and careworkers to Japan; of which, 116 passed the licensure examinations, translating to a passing rate of 14.8%. This not-so-impressive figure questions the effectiveness of PJEPA as an instrument for labor mobility. The paper aims to gather the responses of the Filipino nurses and careworkers who have gone through all the components and interventions that comprise the labor mobility program under the PJEPA. The paper points to the following weaknesses of the program: 1) not relevant on-the-job training; 2) insufficiency of the language training program; and 3) limited contract duration for training. The paper recommends the following innovations/reforms: 1) language proficiency requirement prior to deployment to Japan; 2) extension of contract duration for training in Japan to five (5) years; and 3) institution of relevant on-the-job training.


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