By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter

The demand for Filipino domestic helpers continue to be strong in Qatar, Philippine labour attaché Leopoldo De Jesus told Gulf Times.
After visa restrictions on Filipino domestic helpers were lifted in late 2013, he said the number of deployment to Qatar has increased significantly.
The Philippine Overseas Labour Office (Polo) also recorded a huge spike in the number of individual employment contracts (IEC) it processed from November 2013 to December this year.
From an average of 3,900 contracts per year, De Jesus noted that the figure rose to around 2,000 per month. Employers (mostly families) had also complied with all the requirements including the $400 monthly minimum wage set by the Philippine government for domestic helpers, the Polo official pointed out.
“There is no reason not to approve valid and complete applications submitted by employers,” De Jesus stated while observing that they also benefitted from the earlier decision of Indonesia and other South Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to stop sending domestic helpers to the Middle East.
Many recruitment and manpower agencies, both in Qatar and in the Philippines, had also opened recently to meet the growing demand for Filipino domestic helpers, the official recalled.
An agency staff told Gulf Times that they normally charge a QR12,000 fee for every recruitment and rich employers usually ask for more than one domestic helper.
He said one agency gets more than 100 Filipino domestic helpers from the Philippines every month compared to less than 50 in previous years. This accounts for 70% of its total recruitment for Qatar.
With the growth in Qatar population, Polo is expecting the huge demand for Filipino domestic helpers to continue in 2016 and subsequent years.
The number of skilled Filipino workers and professionals being deployed to Qatar have also significantly increased. Qatar’s booming construction and hospitality industry has given a lot of job opportunities for many Filipinos, De Jesus said.
He also expects more nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners to come to Qatar in the coming years due to the increasing number of clinics and hospitals.
“We want to focus on sending more skilled workers and professionals to the Middle East,” he added. The Philippine embassy in Doha had announced early this year that some 94,289 visas are reserved for Filipino workers that Qatar hopes to employ soon.

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