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Well over 100,000 workers from Thailand’s neighbours – Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia – are now officially registered in Phuket, but unregistered aliens continue to be discovered.
Today Phuket Vice-Governor Dr Sommai Preechasilpa and Yaowapa Pibulpol, the head of the Provincial Employment Office, found another 15 workers aboard fishing boats in Phuket waters, and told them they must get registered by the end of June, and how to do it.
Aboard a Marine Police launch, they visited five fishing boats, the Klakamonchai 9, the 99 Thongchai 4 and Sinphichai close to Tapao Noi and Tapao Yai islands. Then they visited the Prakanchai 15 and Prakanchai 17 close to Maiton Island.
All of the Burmese crew members on the five boats were unregistered.
V/Gov Sommai said, “We wanted to check and to tell all alien workers to get registered and get work permits. [The 15] all said they had no complaints because they were earning more than they could at home.”
Ms Yaowapa said, “Currently we have about 110,600 alien workers registered in Phuket. Of these, 99 per cent are Burmese, with the other one per cent being Lao or Cambodian.
She added, however, that just 600 of the registered aliens have work permits. “Of course we know that far more than 600 are working here. Now we are working to make everything correct according to the policy of the [National Council of Peace and Order].
“We will set up a registration center at Phuket Provincial Community Hall in Phuket Town at the end of this month. They will have to pay a registration fee. The process takes half a day, then there is a period of 60 days for them to prove their nationality.”
After registration each will receive a “Non-Thai ID Card”. These are pink on one side. The other side is green for Burmese, blue for Laotians and brown for Cambodians. This side also acts as a temporary work permit, valid for 60 days.
The fees are B1,305 for an adult, B1,080 fee for a child between seven and 15 years of age, and B80 for childern under seven.
“Registration in Phuket has yet to come, but I’m pretty sure that we will have it in this month,” Ms Yaowapa told The Phuket News. “We are ready for it; we just have to wait until the NCPO gives us the go-ahead.”
“This is a great opportunity for the nationals of the three countries who have been working illegally in Phuket to become legal. After registration, they will have access to medical services in government hospitals at very reasonable rates.
“It’s also a good chance for businesses who have illegal workers to make things right.
“During the 60-day period, people will have to prove their nationality, and then the NCPO will decide again about who qualifies for long-term work permits.”
She warned, “Workers in Phuket must register. There will be a intensive checks later on [to detect illegal workers].”
Additional reporting by Anthika Muangrod