In 1999, the Philippine and Taiwan governments, through Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) signed a bilateral agreement formalizing an alternative channel in the hiring of Filipino workers, which aims to protect the welfare and rights of the Filipino workers in Taiwan. This agreement is coined as the Special Hiring Program in Taiwan (SHPT).
The SHPT is specifically created to provide an alternative recruitment channel to employers without the participation of Taiwan manpower agencies (TMA) and Philippine recruitment agencies (PRA). It is also intended to provide a system that is transparent and would lessen opportunities for and the possibilities of abuse of the Filipino workers in Taiwan (FWT).
To date, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) opened its satellite centers for direct-hiring, known as Direct Hiring Service Center (DHSC), which would cater to employers who intend to rehire their current foreign workers after completion of their employment contract, without the involvement of manpower agencies.
MECO on the other hand verifies the employment documents and issues the Overseas Workers’ Certificate (OEC) and the OWWA Certificate of Coverage (OCOC) to Filipino workers returning to the same employer processed under the SHPT.
With MECO’s issuance of the OEC and OCOC, and the assistance of DHSC, the worker will be able to get his/her visa at TECO without the need to go to POEA.
Thus, simplifying, facilitating and expediting the return of the worker to his/her employer in Taiwan. Most importantly, the process prevents the workers from falling prey to exploitation and does away with the possible collusion of unscrupulous manpower agencies.