By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Sang-hwa (File photo courtesy of Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines) 

MANILA – South Korea is eager to hire more Filipino caregivers, its top diplomat in the Philippines said Tuesday night.

In an interview at a reception in Taguig, South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Sang-hwa said discussions with the Philippine side are ongoing but Seoul hopes to receive at least 100 Filipino caregivers as early as December 2023.

“I’ve been meeting frequently with the DMW (Department of Migrant Workers) and the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) because the additional layer we are discussing is we are interested in sending Filipino caregivers to Korea,” he said.

“Filipino caregivers have good reputation worldwide and that will be, in our view, a win-win partnership between our countries,” he added.

Philippine Ambassador to Korea Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega said there are some Filipino caregivers working in South Korea but mainly for diplomats under a “special category”.

“There is no agreement, (it’s) still in the discussion stage — that is under the direct purview of DMW,” she told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

Talks between Manila and Seoul come as the latter seeks to address its shortage of nursing facility workers.

The Korea Times earlier reported that South Korea has been grappling with the shortage amid a rapidly aging population, prompting calls on the South Korean government to ease visa rules and bring in foreign caregivers. (PNA)