Taiwan swiftly hires 1,000 Filipinos

Jocelyn R. Uy in Manila/Philippine Daily Inquirer
Asia News Network

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - After mending its fractured ties with the Philippines, Taiwan has quickly allowed in more than 1,000 Filipinos to work at electronic and other manufacturing firms that have seen demand double in the last two weeks, according to a Filipino recruitment consultant.

Taiwan's economic cooperation office has also speeded up processing of the 6,000 pending work visas of Filipinos that were shelved after a misunderstanding erupted between the two governments, recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said.

"After waiting for more than a month to take up their jobs, over 1,000 new workers have flown to the island nation since March 18 after new restrictions were lifted by (Taiwan authorities)," he said.

Taiwan imposed restrictions on work visas for Filipinos after the Philippines deported 14 suspected Taiwanese criminals to China, instead of their island nation, in February.

Taiwan also demanded the Philippines apologize for the deportation but Manila refused.

Taiwan agreed to lift the restrictions following a second reconciliatory visit two weeks ago by former Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, the personal emissary and chief troubleshooter of President Benigno Aquino III.

Taiwanese factories are in urgent need of workers to meet the sudden spike in demand for electronic parts for laptops, mobile phones and other gadgets, said Jackson Gan, president of Pilipino Manpower Agencies Accredited to Taiwan (Pilmat).

The huge demand was triggered by the destruction following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan on March 11.

Major Japanese chip-producing factories were forced to shut down some plants following the twin disasters that also caused damage to nuclear power plants in Fukushima.