(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 21 February 2024) Easterlies affecting the eastern section of the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Tuesday, 23 January 2024

Dinagat workers bound for South Korea learn how to speak Korean

By Renelle Escuadro

The provincial government of Dinagat Islands has trained a total of 240 residents who will be joining this year’s first batch of seasonal workers deployed to South Korea. 

Gov. Nilo Demerey Jr. said the 15-day Basic Korean Language Course is important as this forms part of their skills preparation and streamlined transition of the seasonal workers under the Season Workers Program (SWP) implemented by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

Ivy Vergara Ecleo, administrator of the Migrant Workers Office considered this language tutorial as helpful to the seasonal workers as communication is essential for a productive and efficient work output in South Korea. 

“Learning the language will help the workers communicate well with their Korean employers.  It is the intent of the provincial officials to break the language barrier so that they can perform their duties and responsibilities effectively,” Ecleo said. 

“Aside from language lessons, the training also covered the culture, tradition, customs of South Korea, as well as work ethics being representatives of our good province,” added Ecleo. 

The seasonal workers in PDI learned the language first before leaving to South Korea. Photo courtesy of PIO-PDI.

A follow through training on basic agriculture was also facilitated by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Dinagat Islands that initially assisted the first set of 76 trainees on January 15 to 19.  

Provincial Agriculturist Rico Galinato said, “the agri-skill covered land preparation, proper application of fertilizer, operation and safety precautions on the use of farm machinery such as mini-multi cultivator, knapsack sprayer and grass cutter, among others.”

Meanwhile, Demerey lauded the success of the SWP during the recent tribute to the seasonal workers dubbed as Modern Hero Awards 2023. 

“The provincial government considered the SWP a safer and greener pasture for the Dinagatnons to quickly recover their lost livelihood and damaged properties from the wrath of Super Typhoon Odette," the governor recalled. 

“The end goal of this program is for them to learn advanced and modern technology in agriculture from another country. Once you return to Dinagat Islands, you will start your own business using your savings and build your income and livelihood by applying what you have learned in farming and fishing in South Korea,” Demerey underscored. 

The provincial government of Dinagat Islands prepared the seasonal workers for South Korea with training on basic knowledge and skill on agriculture. Photo courtesy of OPAg-PDI.

Virginia Agocoy proudly shared the fruit of her labor in South Korea as a seasonal worker, stating in her Facebook post, “Flex ko lang po napundar / nabili ko sa katas ng Korea, nakapundar me ug pump boat panagatan. Nakatabang ko ug dako palit ug gatas ug diaper sa ako anak ug pagkaon sa ako pamilya [Sharing the pump boat for fishing that I bought using my salary in South Korea. I was able to help buy milk and diapers for my child and food for my family].”

Agocoy is just one of the seasonal workers who availed of the SWP with bilateral agreement between the provincial government of Dinagat Islands and South Korea.  This program allows residents of the province to work in the field of agriculture for six to eight months in Pyeongchang County and in the provinces of Sokcho and Yeongwol in South Korea and earn not less than P80,000 a month.

With favorable results, a total of 472 seasonal workers safely returned to the province in 2023 after finishing their contracts with their respective employers in South Korea. For this year, the province has targeted to send additional 3,000 seasonal workers to the said country. (RLE/PIA-Dinagat Islands)