Manila, the Philippines. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Mike Gonzalez

The latest joint labor conference between Taiwan and the Philippines closed on a positive note on Tuesday, reaching consensus on several issues affecting Filipino migrant workers.

Co-chaired in Manila by Taiwan Labor Minister Lin Mei-chu and Philippine Secretary of Labor and Employment Silvestre Bello III, the meeting centered on four key issues, Taiwan Apple Daily reported.

According to a statement by Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor, the Philippine government agreed to look for financial resources to cover any outstanding medical expenses incurred in Taiwan by its migrant workers, while any outstanding fees and fines caused by runaway workers shall be settled by public donations.

Second, the Philippines will also review and explore the possibility of unifying the authentication of labor contracts and salary declarations.

Concerning health issues, the two governments agreed to step up efforts on providing measures to prevent drug abuse.

Regarding the employment of Filipino fishermen, both governments will continue to review and negotiate any fees incurred. At present, referral and administrative fees are required by the Philippine government and solely shouldered by the Taiwanese employers, the Real Daily reported.

As of the end of June, the number of Filipino migrant workers in Taiwan was 144,439, most of them engaged as factory workers or in the healthcare sector as caretakers.

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