THE Chinese government is "willing to consider" opening employment for Filipino English-speaking caregivers in mainland China, Ambassador Jose Santiago Sta. Romana disclosed on Friday.
To pave the way for their entry to China, however, a bilateral labor agreement between the two nations must first be signed.
"Given the (pandemic) situation that the two governments cannot even send negotiating teams – they have to do it virtually – I don't expect an agreement soon," Sta. Romana said.
During the OFW Town Hall forum on Friday, the envoy said there's a growing demand among middle-class Chinese for household service workers, particularly from the Philippines.
However, the Chinese government has yet to open its doors to these workers to accommodate millions of Chinese nationals who also need employment.
"Ang Chinese authorities, they're willing only at this point 'yung tinatawag nila na 'huwag mag-compete with the surplus Chinese labor.' Kung English-speaking caregivers, they're willing to consider it," he said.
Before the pandemic, Sta. Romana said many Filipinos were lured to work in mainland China without legal documents.
"There are even syndicates working to bring them in. That's why now, because of the COVID, they (Filipino workers) are caught in a situation that's quite unfortunate. That's why we are trying to help those who are really distressed and, at the same time, work on an agreement with the Chinese government," he said in mixed English and Filipino. PNA