Critics ridicule 30 caregiving jobs under Jpepa

Critics ridicule 30 caregiving jobs under Jpepa

The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday said the 30 caregiving jobs allocated by the Japanese government under the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa) makes the country appear like a nation of beggars begging for alms.

“This is all what we got from Jpepa. An employment of 30 caregiving jobs which will require us to pass Japanese roadblocks in flying colors as if they are contestants in Survivor Philippines or Fear Factor Philippine edition,” the militant group laments.

Pamalakaya noted that the first batch of 30 caregiving jobs is part of the total caregiving jobs promised by the Japanese government under the economic and partnership agreement. It said the remaining 370 caregiving jobs, will be decided later, depending on the outcome of the first batch trainees of Filipino caregivers.

“We are being treated like modern day slaves under Jpepa,” the group added.

The Japanese Embassy in Manila reported that some 30 Filipino caregivers are scheduled to leave on September 27 to train in Japan under the Jpepa pact on the movement of natural persons.

Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura led the send-off ceremony for the Filipinos bound for caregiver schools in Japan at the HEDC Building in University of the Philippines-Diliman.

“Under the school track scheme, Filipino candidate caregivers will take a two- to four-year school course. All candidates will undergo six-month Japanese language training. Thereafter, they will enroll in caregiver schools in Japan and will be qualified as certified care workers upon completion of the course,” the embassy said.

But Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said Jpepa reduces our country into a nation of beggars pleading for some pennies. ” Imagine this extreme equation, in exchange for 30 caregiving jobs, the country is leasing 600,000 hectares of prime agricultural lands to Japanese bio-fuel producers,” he said.

The Pamalakaya leader was referring to the recently concluded bio-fuel deal between the country and Japan, where the Philippines will allow the United Kingdom based Japanese firm Pacific Bio-Fields Corporation, who will be allowed to exploit more than a half a million hectares of forestal lands in Northern Luzon for bio-fuel production intended for the fuel needs of auto carmakers in Japan.

One of the criticisms posed by Pamalakaya during the Senate deliberation on Jpepa last year, was the provision allowing Japanese factory ships to enter the country’s exclusive economic zone, where Japan industrial fishing fleets will be allowed inside the Philippine territorial waters to fish for tuna and other precious marine species.

Pamalakaya said a single 3,000 metric ton Japanese factory ship has a capacity to catch 150 metric tons of tuna a day, and by industry standard, it could harvest 50,000 metric tons of tuna per year or equivalent to
$ 320 million per year.

The militant group said it is high time for the Philippine Senate to immediately subject Jpepa to a review and possible abrogation given the one-sided and exploitative nature and character of the bilateral agreement.#

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