130,000 Filipino nurses face job loss due to ‘Saudization’
The estimated 130,000 Filipino nurses in Saudi Arabia are expected to bear the brunt of the kingdom’s “Saudization” policy, a migrant rights group said Tuesday.
According to Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, a news report said the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) planned to hire local nurses in all its medical facilities.
He said the MOH issued a circular indicating that employment contracts with foreign nurses, including Filipinos who had completed 10 years of service, would be terminated to give way to newly graduated Saudi nurses.
“We are quite certain the MOH plan of replacing 10-year in-service foreign nurses is in line with the ‘nitaqat’ that entered its new phase of implementation,” said Monterona in a statement.
The nitaqat is a policy that classifies private companies according to the number of Saudi workers they hire.
The Saudi Ministry of Labor has classified 300,000 Saudi companies into four categories, namely, excellent and green (complying companies) and yellow and red (noncomplying companies). Each company would be required to employ a minimum number of Saudi citizens based on company size and occupations.
This system has been resorted to by the Saudi government to curb the growing local unemployment rate.
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