Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pinoy nurses and caregivers bound for Japan

And so the reports say so. Starting next April, Japan will accept 400 nurses and 600 caregivers from the Philippines under the bilateral free-trade agreement, which was signed over the weekend.

The offer seems luxurious, but the entry level is tight. Japan requires that
Nurses and caregivers will have to pass exams in Japanese to be certified to work here.

According to the (Japanese health) ministry, Filipinos who want to work in these professions will be required to take Japanese-language lessons for six months when they arrive. They will then undergo specialized training to work at Japanese hospitals and facilities for the elderly.

After arriving, nurses will have three years to pass the licensing exam and people who want certification to work as caregivers will be required to pass the exam within four years. People who pass the exams will be allowed to work in Japan indefinitely.

I like the phrase "work in Japan indefinitely." And I want to be optimistic that, someday, Pinoy health care professionals will fluck the land of the rising sun. But before we dream of that "someday", I'd like us to consider first the current situation. First, Japan's entry level is quite tough and strict. One can not learn the language overnight, and the time when these Filipinos "attain the same level of linguistic capability as their Jap counterparts" is largely dependent on the individual. I must say that learning Nihonggo is REALLY difficult. Believe me! I've been here for two years now and I could not even complete a sentence. My husband has been studying for three years now, almost finishing in fact, and yet his Nihonggo is still barok. Hmmm, Japan might have to think twice with its requirements. Because I am almost sure that, with the language barrier in mind, my fellow Pinoys and Pinays would really think twice in coming here and working for the Japan's largest population group -- the elderly.

Secondly, think of the competition. Japan is in need of help, no doubt about that. But it has to compete (elbow to elbow, perhaps) with other wealthy nations that can afford to offer higher salary to and eventually attain better living conditions for these Filipinos -- without any trouble in communication/language. Countries such as the US, Great Britain are a favorite, and most Filipinos can earn from these countries about US$4,000 per month. Can Japan beat that?

As I said, I want to be optimistic. Someday, Filipinos in Japan will not only be known as either Japayukis or language teachers, but also one who gives care to those who need them.


  • At 9/18/2006 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous rayts said…

    hirap nga. nagtry ako mag-aral nyan, dumudugo utak ko. parang madali pa ang French, hehe.

  • At 9/19/2006 05:35:00 PM, Anonymous aloi said…

    learning a new language as an adult is always difficult! so it really makes sense to start learnign early ... bakit hindi kaya tinuro sa UP yan? :)

  • At 9/27/2006 04:19:00 PM, Blogger ning said…

    hi rayts, madugo nga ang nihonggo, kaya nga bilib ako dun sa mga pinoys at pinays dito na halos native speakers na e. kelan kaya ako matututo? ;)

    hi aloi! asa ka pa sa UP, hehehe! ;)


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