Oversea Filipino Workers in Taiwan.

Essay by chaulanUniversity, Master's January 2004

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1. Taiwan immigrant labor market

The latest report from Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) stated that Taiwan, with only 9 deployed OFWs in 1985, surprisingly jumped to as the fifth (5th) top destination of Filipino workers in 2002 (after Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Japan, and United Arab Emirates). With new hires from Taiwan increase 60.36% also in this year, it can be said Taiwan is a growing market for Philippine manpower exporters.

Taiwan's economy took off swiftly in the years of 1980s, causing local labor to shift away from low paid, low status and so-called 3D jobs (dirty, demeaning and dangerous). As a response to serious shortages of unskilled and semi-skilled labor, Taiwan government first opened its labor market by permitting major construction projects to deploy foreign workers in October 1989. Since then, more and more labor from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippine, Malaysia and latest Vietnam have arrived Taiwan to work in manufacturing, construction, and other home services like maids and care-givers.

Until April 31, 2003 there are 252,858 overseas origin workers in Taiwan dominated by around 39% of Thais.


April 31, 2003

Source: Taiwan Council of Labor Affairs


Number "Number "Number "Number "Number "

Manufacturing 147,942100.00 42,79928.93 83,28156.29 8,6775.87 13,1748.90

Caregivers 84,349100.00 15,94618.91 2,1432.54 41,89049.66 24,36928.89

Construction 12,363100.00 930.75 12,10197.88 200.16 1491.21

Maids 3,345100.00 1,06331.78 992.96 1,85055.31 3339.96

Sailors 3,039100.00 42513.19 60.20 59019.41 2,01866.40

Others 1,820100.00925 50.82 68837.80 814.451116.10

Total 252,858100.00 61,25424.23 98,31838.88 53,10821.00 40,15415.88

At the beginning, Taiwan employers had been in need of foreign manpower so much that they even paid for the air tickets among other benefits to attract workers. However, more suppliers entered the market later gave them more options and hence, the market became more demanding. Still, Taiwan is an attractive working place...