MANILA With the growing need in China to learn English, an agreement between the Philippines and China is expected to be signed to allow the deployment of more Filipino English teachers in China.
Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said this will be among the bilateral agreements to be signed during the visit of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to China for his attendance at the Boao Forum for Asia this week.
There are some minor details still being ironed out, but if everything works, the agreement to open, to hire more Filipino English teachers for China, to open the Chinese market, Sta. Romana told reporters in a press briefing in Bo'ao, Hainan in China.
There are several agreements that would be signed tomorrow (Tuesday), we'll have to wait for the final list but it will include an agreement to further deepen and broaden the economic relations, he added.
The current setup, Sta. Romana said, is that Filipino teachers in China find jobs on their own.
There are Filipino teachers in China but they found the jobs on their own. You know, they sought it out and they are hired, Romana said.
The ambassador explained that there used to be a Chinese rule that excluded the Philippines as a "legal source" or as a source that they encouraged.
They wanted to emphasize you know, what they called native speakers but they have relaxed it now, Sta. Romana said.
We noticed that they were allowing certain countries that were not strictly English-speaking native speakers but rather were former colonies of native speaking countries and so under that provision or under that when they allowed that, it was very clear the Philippines was part of that, it could not be excluded, he added.
Sta. Romana also said that the friendship factor between the Philippines and China also helped the Chinese government be more open in hiring Filipino teachers.
Aside from English, Sta. Romana said that China is also looking at hiring more engineers and other professionals.
International companies have hired a lot of Filipino engineers, there are advertising executives here. As you know, there are journalists here. There are a lot of your colleagues are working at China Central TV. There are more Filipinos now working here, Sta. Romana said.
The ambassador said that the Philippines and China are also discussing the possible hiring of more domestic helpers, noting that "the Chinese middle-class is growing".
The next thing that we want, that we are discussing with China is the whole issue of the domestic helpers because the Chinese middle class is growing, they look at what's happening in Hong Kong, and there is a growing demand for English-speaking helpers, Sta. Romana said.
Sta. Romana, however, said that the Philippine government will have to assure that domestic helpers are covered by social security and are not subject to unfair rules.
He, however, clarified that there is no agreement yet and it is still being discussed by both sides. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency