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20,000 Filipino workers eyed for South Korea

By Rey M. Nasol
First Posted 16:45:00 09/24/2009


LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines - Some 20,000 Filipinos are needed to work at the newly established Integrated Free Export Zone (IFEZ) Incheon, South Korea, according to presidential economic adviser and Albay governor Joey Salceda.

Salceda said a memorandum of agreement with the Ifez was being finalized to formally implement the hiring of 20,000 workers from the Philippines, especially from Albay province.

Salceda was recently installed as economic adviser of the South Korea Incheon Metropolitan Authority, which is implementing the US$178-billion Ifez project.

Incheon is a highly industrial metropolitan area in South Korea.

“The export zone is the biggest integrated development project whose cost is 35 times the annual infrastructure budget in the Philippines,” Salceda said.

His investiture as adviser of the South Korean authority was held a week ago at Incheon where the ceremony was witnessed by the mayors of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Honolulu, Brisbane and Beijing.

Witnesses also included Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and representatives from 150 major cities in the Asia Pacific.

Salceda was accompanied by four Philippine governors and 14 of the 18 Albay mayors led by Polangui town Mayor Jesus Salceda, the province's League of Municipalities president and father of the governor.

The Philippines sent the biggest delegation, he added.

Salceda said that his economic advice had been frequently sought by Incheon Mayor Sang Soo who, he said, is widely expected to become president of South Korea.

Also in Incheon, the Asia Pacific Cities Summit organizers and participants hailed Albay during its plenary session for having the most unique and creative strategies for development, citing its program on climate change and disaster risk reduction.

The summit moderator specifically highlighted the institutionalization of the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office and the Center for Initiatives for Researches in Climate Adaptation.