The Joint Labour Committee meeting between Qatar and the Philippines was held in Doha last week. It was attended by (from left)Overseas Workers Welfare Administration director Albert Valenciano, First Secretary and Consul Musor, Labor attaché David Des Dicang, ambassador Relacion, Qatar's Deputy Labour and Social Affairs Minister al-Mulla, POEA Administrator Cacdac, labor attaché De Jesus, and Philippine labour director Saul De Vries.
By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter
As many as 94,289 visas are reserved for Filipino workers that Qatar hopes to employ soon, a report from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in the Philippines has revealed.
Gonaranao B Musor, First Secretary and Consul at the Philippine embassy, told Gulf Times that the figures came from Labour and Social Affairs Deputy Minister Hussein bin Youssef al-Mulla who met with the Philippines delegation at the second convening of the Joint Labour Committee in Doha last week.
The senior Qatari labour official was responding to the statement of Overseas Employment Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac about the numerous job opportunities for Filipinos in the country.
“These (visas) are mostly in the health sector and in the ongoing rail project,” noted the report which appeared on DFA’s website.
With Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Attorney Cacdac cited several job openings in the health, construction, Information Technology, services and production sectors for Filipino workers. He said the Philippines received 78,426 job orders from Qatar last year.
This was confirmed by labour attaché Leopoldo De Jesus to Gulf Times saying his office has recorded a significant increase in the number of Filipino workers deployed to Qatar last year.
He cited a huge demand for skilled and professional Filipino workers such as nurses, engineers, architects, and accountants, among others.
The demand for household service workers (HSWs) had been significantly increasing since last year, according to De Jesus.
In the same report, Deputy Minister al-Mulla also told Philippine labour officials that Article 33 of the Qatari Labour Law prohibits the payment of recruitment fees.
As a response, Cacdac vowed to issue a circular to warn Filipinos applying for work to Qatar from paying such fees to recruiters.
The two parties also agreed to blacklist erring recruitment agencies as well as giving incentives to those who have been performing well.
Qatar is also expected to pass its ‘Domestic Workers Protection Law’ which will further protect the rights of HSWs, according to Cacdac.
A day before the meeting, the Philippine delegation visited the Labour Inspection and Labour Relations Departments to see how the country is exerting efforts to protect workers’ welfare.
Cacdac, together with ambassador Crescente Relacion and other Philippine embassy officials, were also toured around a 100,000-capacity labour camp being constructed at the Doha Industrial Area.
The on-going project is expected to provide comfort and quality accommodation for incoming workers from various labour-sending countries including the Philippines.
Musor said the third Joint Labour Committee meeting will be held in Manila later this year.