Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket agency helps Burmese workers go legit

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket agency helps Burmese workers go legit | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: Many of the Burmese citizens working in the construction industry in Phuket are highly educated and “just as talented as Thai people,” according to the owner of a company specializing in legalizing the island’s foreign laborers.

Thanadech Supasuwan, who runs the Noom Broker agency in Rassada, said that the younger generation of Burmese on Phuket aspire to work in fields other than manual labor.

“I have talked to some workers who graduated from Yangon University. I believe that they are just as talented as Thai people are; they have English as a second language. It’s just that their opportunities are limited,” he said.

“However, if the Thai government allows them the opportunity to work in other fields, Thai workers would suffer because the competition would be greater between Thai and Burmese in the future,” he added.

Noom Broker Co is a Burmese citizenship verification coordination center on Thepkrasattri Road that helps foreign laborers navigate the Thai government’s complicated labor regulations.

Mr Thanadech started the business 14 years ago to prepare documentation for foreign workers and to coordinate between their employers and government agencies.

At the heart of the process is the “nationality verification”, which requires workers to obtain proof-of-citizenship documents from their home country, he said.

His company helps Burmese laborers verify their nationality by first submitting applications to Phuket Provincial Employment Office. From there it goes to the Bangkok office, to the Embassy of Myanmar Thailand, to Yangon and onward to provincial offices in Burma, he said.

It takes at least two months before identification certificates are returned, he said.

After receiving the documents, he can assist Burmese workers in applying for temporary passports at the Kawthaung (Victoria Point) immigration checkpoint opposite Ranong, Thailand.

It’s a one-day process. Mr Thanadech’s company provides a bus for workers to Ranong, where they cross the border, get temporary passports valid for three years, then receive a two-year non-immigrant visa on re-entry to Thailand, he said.

Once back in Thailand, the workers must report to Phuket Immigration within seven days and apply for a work permit within one month.

Noom Broker takes care of preparing and submitting all of the documents to the Phuket Provincial Employment Office, a process that takes two to three days, he said.

The entire process, starting from nationality verification and ending with work permit issuance, takes approximately three months. Total per-person cost for the entire process, including travel to Ranong, is 500 baht.

General Manager Prathtana Kanjanavanon said, “The process is so complicated and takes so much time. It’s also confusing for employers because the government officers tend to use formal language that is unclear to them.”

So far, Noom Broker has helped obtain temporary passports for 600 Burmese workers.

According to the Phuket Provincial Employment Office’s latest statistics, there are 4,470 Burmese workers holding passports registered with the office.

Unofficial estimates of the total number of Burmese workers on Phuket go as high as 200,000.

The Burmese community has reacted to the nationality verification process with some suspicion. A major concern is that the Burmese junta would levy excessive taxes against their family members remaining in Burma, as the government assumes workers in Thailand are commanding much higher wages.

Mr Thanadech said that for now, despite the obstacles, “some of the Burmese are delighted to make everything right. They want to work and return home legally. They feel more secure and accepted by being able to go anywhere and do anything they want.”

“Most of them, after getting their passports and work permits, are very happy. They can apply for driving licenses, open bank accounts and catch flights. They don’t want to return to Burma anyway.”

The national verification process will run until the end of February 2011, after which time migrant workers remaining in Thailand without passports will reportedly be sent back to Burma, Cambodia or Laos.

— Janpen Upatising

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Phuket

Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Marina Krasnopolska

WARNING! Content below contains photos of self-mutilation that some may find disturbing.

The flags on Go Teng poles were lowered on Monday, ending Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival and symbolising that the spirits have returned the heavens. The flags are raised at the start of the festivities each year at participating shrines, calling on the spirits to descend from the heavens.

This year, 2 men were electrocuted while taking down the festival flags. A steel pole with the flag touched a power pole, electrocuting and burning the workers as they were trying to lower the flags. They were taken to the hospital.

During the festival’s street processions and ceremonies so-called “mah songs” channel the descended spirits. They enter a trance-like state and many practice self-mutilation to channel the spirits. “Mah” means horse in Thai, and some say the mah song acts as a horse for the spirit to ride.

Some mah song pierce their cheeks and other parts of their body with steel spikes and sometimes swords or other bizarre choices (we’ve seen petrol pumps, javelins, samurai swords and kitchen utensils). During the street procession, they walk for hours with the self-inflicted piercings, seemingly posessed by ‘spirits’ and muttering all sort of strange chants, verging on mild cases of Tourette syndrome. A team of devotees for each mah song wipe away blood and keep the wounds clean. Some mah songs even slice their tongue for the street procession. Blood drips on their chest and the ground. Waiting bystanders line the streets hoping for the blessing of a passing mah song. Some mah songs carry a black flag.

The event is an annual spiritual ‘cleansing’ for those in watching the processions. Onlookers lining the street bow their heads and place their hands in the “wai” position as the mah song waves flags and banners over their heads. Businesses along the procession route often set up an altar outside their shop and mah songs stop at each one to do a short ritual.

The Phuket government gave the festival organisers the “okay” to hold this years event with hopes that it would increase domestic tourism and generate much-needed revenue after the Thai government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic crippled Phuket’s tourist economy. Before this year’s festival, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana asked that the mah songs “limit the level of torturing.” He also called for a limit on the number of people at ceremonies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

His calls were largely ignored.

The spirits will again return in 2021 to Phuket again cleanse the island’s large Thai-Chinese community.

Photos of the 2020 Vegetarian Festival by Marina Krasnopolska.

Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Phuket

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27 | The Thaiger
Thailand22 hours ago

Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27

Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency lifted, Quarantine latest, Phuket Light Rail | October 22 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts6 days ago

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency lifted, Quarantine latest, Phuket Light Rail | October 22

Thailand News Today | STV arrivals, Released then re-arrested, Petition to oust PM | October 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Thailand News Today | STV arrivals, Released then re-arrested, Petition to oust PM | October 21

Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20

Thailand News Today | Protest update, Samui wants cheap flights, Isaan croc hunters | October 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protest update, Samui wants cheap flights, Isaan croc hunters | October 19

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protests, Special Tourist Visa, Prisoners slippery escape | October 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protests, Special Tourist Visa, Prisoners slippery escape | October 16

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency, Pattaya ‘online’, Veggie Festival plea | October 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency, Pattaya ‘online’, Veggie Festival plea | October 15

Thailand News Today | BKK protest update, Chiang Mai ‘quiet’, Baby klong crocs | October 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | BKK protest update, Chiang Mai ‘quiet’, Baby klong crocs | October 14

Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13

Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12

Thailand News Today | Army v Twitter, Tourism interrupted, Thailand World’s #6 | October 9 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Army v Twitter, Tourism interrupted, Thailand World’s #6 | October 9

Thailand News Today | Tourist arrivals postponed, Will Boss return?, deadly centipede | October 8 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Tourist arrivals postponed, Will Boss return?, deadly centipede | October 8

Thailand News Today | Poll-Keep borders closed, quarantine exemption, heavy rain | October 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Poll-Keep borders closed, quarantine exemption, heavy rain | October 7

Thailand News Today | Business people exemptions, road checkpoints, Phuket delay | October 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Business people exemptions, road checkpoints, Phuket delay | October 6

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending