Taiwan's accelerating export-driven technological industry opened the gates for Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs). In fact, about one fifth of foreign workers in Taiwan are Filipinos mostly in manufacturing industries. For those who are considering to join flocks of OFWs in Taiwan, knowing a fact or two about this matter will help you decide.
The Advantages of Working in Taiwan
1. Proximity - Taiwan is located just up north and is only 45-minute air ride away from Manila. Taiwan and Philippines share the same timezone thus body clock adjustment is not an issue.
2. Reasonable Cost of Living – Most factories provide free accommodation to workers that are oftentimes adjacent to the workplace which keeps them from transportation expenses. Canteens sell cheaper foods for the workers. Transportation is efficient and affordable, though.
3. Large Filipino Community – approximately 70% of more or less 80,000 Filipinos in Taiwan are working in factories. Filipino stores offering Pinoy foods and goods are visible almost everywhere. Events for and by the Filipino community are very much active and vibrant. Karaoke and convenience stores are also popular. Religion can be practiced freely. Different churches can be found.
4. Modern Technology and Facilities – Because Taiwan is in export of cell phones, LCD panels, computer other electronic goods, facilities, infrastructure and services in Taiwan are relatively good. Streets are safe and clean.
5. Frequent Paid Over Time Works – During Taiwan's electronic export demand is at its peak, factory workers are asked to do paid overtime works. OT rate in Taiwan is higher thus workers earn higher than the basic salary.
The Disadvantages of Working in Taiwan
1. High Placement Fee – Placement fee of staggering P90,000 to P150,000 or higher. Foreign brokers also collect additional amount for “service charge” from workers every month. Reforms to lower this to amount equivalent to worker's month salary is now under negotiation with the government.
2. Weather – Taiwan has summer, winter, spring and fall seasons. However, there is no snow during winter days, only chilly wind. Typhoons that visit Taiwan three to four times every year oftentimes result to floods and falling of trees. Taiwan is also prone to strong earthquakes.
3. Racism – Due to the shooting incident that killed a Taiwanese fisherman, OFWs in Taiwan suffered racism which led to verbal and physical attacks. Eventually however, the intense anger of the locals subside.
4. Language Barrier - Most Taiwanese cannot understand or speak English and uses only their native language which is Standard Chinese Mandarin.
Like in any other countries where other Filipinos chose to work, Taiwan has its advantages and disadvantages too. After all, Filipinos are known for being resilient. What matters is being able to send money home to one's family. You decide whether Taiwan is your kind of spot.
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