Thailand popular destination for skilled workers from Philippines

Thailand is a popular destination for skilled workers and technicians from Asean countries, with the Philippines taking the top spot, according to the Department of Employment (DE).

DE director-general Varanon Peetiwan said the Philippines ranks number one out of nine countries in terms of the number of foreign skilled workers and technicians in Thailand.

He was speaking as he announced the figures for foreign employment in Thailand from Asean.

According to the department, the top five were the Philippines (14,830), Malaysia (2,924), Singapore (2,034), Myanmar (1,948) and Indonesia (1,279). As of February, of the total 1,380,349 workers from Asean countries in Thailand, about 50,000 are skilled labour and technicians.

They have taken jobs in teaching, management, engineering, architecture and business, he said.

Mr Varanon urged foreigners who wish to work in the country to follow procedures set by the DE. They must obtain a licence issued by the DE and are required to stay in the country or allowed to enter the country legally as workers, not tourists.

Meanwhile, the National Reform Steering Assembly committee overseeing social issues will propose a plan for cabinet consideration on migrant worker registration at border checkpoints at the meeting next Tuesday.

Under the proposal, registration of migrant workers at border checkpoints should be open all year round.

The measure is aimed at curbing illegal labour and human trafficking.

In the initial stage, the committee suggests opening registration for only three years.

It also recommends limiting the registration fee to 5,600 baht, which is lower than the normal registration charge, to attract potential workers to use the services, according to the proposal.

Registration at checkpoints will provide convenience for citizens of neighbouring countries who want to work in Thailand at any time.

Currently, migrant workers must register at different periods, discouraging certain groups of workers from registering.

The periodic registration procedures forces workers who failed to register to resort to illegal entry. Some workers are deceived by job brokers who promise them a high pay but end up with being exploited by them.

Thailand has a total of 68 checkpoints, 28 border checkpoints, one temporary checkpoint and 39 temporary trade points.

The committee also plans to submit a proposal on mechanisms protecting the rights of migrant workers for cabinet consideration.

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