Filipino permits can be extended if impacted by travel ban

Taipei Taiwanese employers of Filipino migrant workers can apply to extend their recruitment permits should they be impacted by a travel ban imposed by the Philippine government on Monday that prevents Filipinos from traveling to Taiwan due to the coronavirus outbreak, a Taiwanese labor official said Tuesday.

Manila announced on Monday evening that a travel ban imposed on Chinese visitors due to the coronavirus will also apply to Taiwan based on the country's "One China" policy that sees Taiwan as part of China.

Carmelo Arcilla Executive Director of the Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board issued the clarification of the presidential travel ban from Feb. 2, barring entry to all people except for Filipino citizens coming from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan or who have been to any of those four places in the 14 days preceding arrival.

Point three of the notice says there will be a "temporary ban of Filipinos from travel to China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan."

Hsueh Chien chung (???), a section chief at the Workforce Development Agency under Taiwan's Ministry of Labor (MOL), said the ban is expected to affect Taiwanese employers who hire migrant workers from the Philippines.

One possible scenario is that a Taiwanese employer who already received a Taiwan government issued permit to hire a Filipino worker may see the permit expire before the migrant worker can fly to Taiwan to report for duty due to the ban.

In response, Hsueh advised Taiwanese employers who encounter such problems to file for an extension of the recruitment permit to the MOL, as a responsive measure.

Permits are normally only effective for six months but an employer can now apply to extend the expiration date for another three months, Hsueh said.

In addition, government rules stipulate that a migrant worker needs to return to Taiwan within 30 days of leaving the country. However, if that worker is unable to do so due to the ban, an employer can apply for a new re entry permit if he or she wants to continue to hire the same employee and wait for him or her to return to Taiwan after the ban is lifted, the MOL official said.

Employers can also apply to revoke the employment permit of a Filipino migrant worker who is unable to return to Taiwan due to the ban before applying to the MOL to have a migrant worker from another country fill the vacancy, he added.

According to the ministry, a total of 157,487 Filipino migrant workers were in Taiwan as of the end of 2019, making the country the third largest source of such workers in Taiwan after Indonesia and Vietnam.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel