Migrant laborer rules “to be relaxed’

PHUKET: The complicated and much-maligned system for employing migrant laborers from Myanmar, Laos or Cambodia is to be overhauled, Boonchock Maneechot, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Employment Services Office (PESO), has announced.

Previously, employers wanting to hire workers had to pay a “guarantee” of either 10,000 or 50,000 baht per worker, depending upon the immigration status of the worker.

However, at a press conference at The Metropole hotel yesterday, K. Boonchock told reporters, “I just received news this morning that at a [Cabinet] meeting on May 10, the Minister of Labor, Somsak Thepsuthin, announced that [the Cabinet] had decided to abolish the 10,000- and 50,000-baht guarantees, and charge only a simple 3,800-baht ‘processing’ fee.”

He added that employees who already hold work permits may have them extended to June 30, 2007, without having to pay any additional guarantee. He gave no further details.

The press conference came after a month-long window for the registration of illegal laborers from the three countries was held in March.

In Phuket, a total of 12,026 people came forward to register, making it the province with the fifth-highest number of registrations in the country, behind Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Chon Buri and Tak. The vast majority, 11,953, of the registrants were Burmese.

K. Boonchock also said that, following the expiry of the registration period on March 30, Phuket Provincial authorities had commissioned the PESO, along with other agencies, to set up a special unit to “investigate, suppress and detain” workers who have not registered with the authorities.

The unit has already checked 574 people and detained 30 illegal workers, and arrested two employers, he added.

Phuket News

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