02 August 2011

OFWs’ uncertainty over Middle East’s job nationalization program



overseas Filipino workers bound for Middle East
Overseas Filipino workers deemed to lose their jobs over nationalization on labor sector all across the Middle East.  Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates were just some of those countries serious enough about pooling their capable and trained nationals in all labor sectors. 

Way back in 2002 as my first ever overseas work in Riyadh Saudi Arabia Ministry of Labour already expressed their interest in Saudization program but it wasn’t fully implemented until just recently. 

Here in Oman the government already implemented such program and started to focus on all financial and medical sectors. They targeted around 80% nationals posted in each job category. The Ministry of Manpower has provisioned private sector to employ Oman nationals more than the public sector that could create nearly 20,000 jobs per year.

As respective governments steadfast in implementing their policies and plans for the welfare of their citizens, OFWs’ on the other hand doomed to lose their jobs.

What would the Philippines government do?
If nearly half of the 3 million overseas Filipino workers in Middle East countries be repatriated, what would the Philippine government do?, this catastrophic event would certainly affect the Philippine economy considering almost 30% of the dollar remittances came from the remittances of the OFWs’ in  the Middle East countries.

The DOLE and OWWA were still raw in its OFW reintegration program. There was even leaked scandal that the OFW funds were diverted in some unscrupulous programs.  The government should earlier draw a decisive plan of action to halt meltdown of the lives of the supposed repatriated OFWs’. So much for possible placement in other countries, Philippines should prove to the world that the country is no longer a manpower exporter.  There should be concrete plan by the government creating massive reintegration process for returning OFWs’.  Trainings for technical enrichment program, business empowerment, and or local job placement priorities would be likely the best feasible alternatives for the returning OFWs’.


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