PH eyes China, Russia as alternatives for repatriated OFWs from Middle East
MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be repatriated from the Middle East will be referred to alternative labor markets such as China and Russia.
In a press briefing, Bello said the Philippine government is “fast-tracking” labor agreement negotiations with China, Russia, Canada, Germany as well as Japan.
Bello said there are around two million OFWs in the Middle East.
“Meron kaming wino-workout (We’re working on something) now as alternative markets just in case we have to repatriate all of this two million plus, we are fast-tracking our negotiation with alternative countries where we could deploy them and I’m talking of China, Russia, Canada including Germany and of course Japan,” he said.
Aside from alternative employment abroad, Bello said repatriated OFWs from the Middle East will also be given livelihood assistance when they return to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Philippine Overseas Employment Administrator Bernard Olalia said licensed recruiters will prioritize OFWs coming from the Middle East.
“Ipapakiusap natin sa ating mga licensed recruitment agencies na kung mago-offer sila at magha-hire, unahin muna nating bigyan ng priority ‘yung ating mga OFW coming from these areas,” he said.
(We will appeal to our licensed recruitment agencies that if they would offer and hire, they prioritize our OFWs coming from these areas.)
According to Olalia, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will meet with licensed recruitment agencies as well as labor stakeholders on Thursday.
He also said registered and approved job offers will be posted on POEA’s website.
Olalia, alongside other senior labor officials, will be dispatched to the Middle East to lead their respective rapid response teams in assisting in the repatriation efforts of the OFWs there.
Edited by KGA
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