China Switch: Taiwanese Farm Workers to be Temporarily Laid off

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Taiwan’s Technical Farm Secretary, Alison Ohamana.

BY JOY OFASIA

ABOUT 30 Taiwan Technical Mission workers are set to temporally lose jobs due the continuing departure of Taiwanese employers been affected by the recent change in Solomon Islands diplomatic ties with Taiwan, locals have confirmed.

Locals employed under the existing projects and programs funded by the Republic of China (R.O.C.) Taiwan will be affected as of this week.

The actual figures employed under the specific projects include Horticulture – 11, Food Crop Improvement – 9 Live Stock – 11, Bee Keeping – 1, and – Plant Arrangement Assistant -1.

Taiwan’s Technical Mission Secretary, Alison Ohamana said the switching of diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China in the country would affect local employees of the Taiwan Technical farm at King George, East Honiara.

Alison said since the signing the Joint Communiqué between Solomon Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Hon. Jeremiah Manele and the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wang Yi of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been materialized, the farm has now been closed down from its normal operations.

“The Taiwanese farm has provided many job opportunities for many people who have good job qualifications in the past years.

“The agricultural technical institution has also helped many locals to be employed in specific projects and programs on the farm. Many of the workers are employed because of the generosity given to them by the Government of Taiwan.

“The Taiwanese government has over the years making sure locals have job opportunities to sustain their families,” she added.

Ms. Alison said many of the workers are grade six dropout without a job. But when they asked if they could work on the farm, the Taiwanese employers accepted them.

“Soon we will have no jobs and we would start seeking for new job opportunities,” the Secretary said.

A local security guard employed by the Taiwanese Farm, Joe Tagini said that he has worked as a security guard at the farm for 14 years and this is the only way he earns money to sustain his family whilst living in Honiara.

“I am thankful for the job opportunity that I have had over past 14 years and now that it will end, I would like to acknowledge the help of the Taiwan Technical Mission staffs at the farm.

“Now, it will be quite hard for me and other workers to find a new job in Honiara,” Joe added.

An earlier reassurance statement made by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister on the decision of his Government to switch ties to Mainland China, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare said the Ministry of Agriculture is taking over ownership of the Taiwan Technical Mission facilities.

“Rest assured that my government is also taking steps to assist every line ministries that have existing projects and program funded by ROC who may or might have been affected by the recent change in our diplomatic ties.

“For instance, the ministry of agriculture is taking over ownership of the Taiwan Technical Mission facilities both in Honiara and in Malaita. The local staffs working in these facilities will be properly taken care of,” Hon. Sogavare stated.