Filipinos in Palau
|Regions with significant populations|
35% of Palau population (2006)
|Tagalog, Palauan, English, other Philippine languages|
|Mostly Roman Catholicism · Protestantism.|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Filipino people, Overseas Filipinos|
Filipinos in Palau consist of migrants from the Philippines and their descendants living in Palau. The approximately 7,000 Filipinos living in Palau make up about 35% of the entire population of Palau, and make up the second-largest ethnic group after Palauans. In addition, the Tagalog language is the fourth most-spoken language in Palau.
Filipinos first arrived in Palau in the 1940s just after World War II. They served as serviceman in the United States Navy, and came to work at a power plant. In the 1970s, about 200 Filipinos were living and working in Palau, mostly in teaching and professional positions. Today, there are 4,495 Filipinos that live legally in Palau, and twenty-one of them are permanent residents, while the rest, 4,434, are migrant workers. However, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Saipan estimates that 80% of Filipinos living in Palau are undocumented immigrants. In 2007, four people, two Filipinos and two Taiwanese, were arrested, jailed and fined for smuggling several Filipinos into Palau.
Filipinos in Palau are employed in the agricultural, construction, education, engineering, fishing, hotel, medical, restaurant, and tourism sectors or as domestic helpers. The minimum monthly wages that a Filipino would receive is about US$250. There is no Philippine Department of Labor and Employment office in Palau, but the Filipino Embassy works with the government of Palau to coordinate labour recruitment. Ramoncito Mariño, the Filipino ambassador to Palau said, "...labor problems usually start in the recruitment itself. So we make sure that the Palauan employers are in touch with legal recruiters who can produce qualified workers. It would also be another problem if the ones sent here are not qualified for their jobs."
Many Filipinos in Palau can speak Palauan and English language along with their native languages. Filipinos in Palau are mostly speakers of Tagalog, which is, along with almost all Filipino languages are distantly related to Palauan linguistically. Tagalog is the country's fourth most spoken language.
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