#Middle East ‘remains leading destination for #Filipino workers’
February 20 2019 12:09 AM
File photo shows Overseas Filipino Workers
File photo shows Overseas Filipino Workers from the Middle East at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

By Neil J Servallos /Manila Times

Five decades after the first batch of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) was deployed to the Middle East during a massive oil boom in the 1970s, the region still remains the top recruiter of Filipino labour, a jobs company said.
Data from WorkAbroad.ph showed that Gulf countries account for at least 76% of all job listings in its database, followed by Asia Pacific countries with 12% and the United States with 8%. Records also showed that demand for OFWs is up by 21%.
“Overseas hirers posted a total of 137,243 job listings from January to October 2018. This is up to 21% compared to 2017, which had 113,545,” Workabroad Marketing lead Paola Savillo said in a news conference yesterday.
Savillo added that Middle Eastern countries demanded mostly healthcare and general workers and engineers; Asia-Pacific countries, manufacturing and production workers; and the US, restaurant and maritime workers.
She said those with local work experience that fit their desired overseas jobs had an advantage.
“For skilled workers, having skills-based courses from tech-voc (technical-vocational) institutions are also highly recommended,” according to Savillo.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said despite some countries’ nationalisation, wherein companies are required to fill up their workforce with their citizens, Filipinos were still preferred workers.
“All Middle Eastern countries have nationalisation. To some degree, we can still access jobs in some companies. Despite this, most Filipino workers are still able to get jobs. They’re still the preferred workers,” POEA Marketing Director Levinson Alcantara said.
Alcantara added that more markets had opened through co-operation between the Philippines and other countries. “With higher demand, we need to increase protection for our workers and decrease welfare cases,” he said.

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