MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced on Friday that they are in the process of signing a memorandum of cooperation with several countries of destinations that are interested in hiring more Filipino healthcare and skilled workers.
In a press briefing on Friday, DMW Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation PY Caunan revealed that among the countries that have expressed intention to hire Filipino workers include Hungary, Austria and Portugal in Europe, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Caunan said that during the last visit of DMW Secretary Susan Ople in Riyadh, the KSA expressed the intention to hire about 1 million new jobs for Filipinos.
“Dun sa mga meetings tinanong natin anong mga industries yun. Maraming opening sa nasa tourism sector yung mga nasa hotels, restaurants, resorts na io-open sa Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Of course, andiyan pa rin yung construction (In our meetings we asked them which industries are involved. They said many of these are in the tourism sector such as hotels, restaurants, and resorts that will open in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Of course, the construction is still included),” Caunan said.
She said the DMW will place these job openings in the special hiring program that the department will soon launch.
“Itong (This) special hiring program would ensure that people have more flexibility when it comes to employment in the KSA,” she added.
Meanwhile, as part of the preparation, Caunan said the DMW is set to hold meetings with the Technical Education and Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) while a sub-committee will also be created with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
She said the sub-committee will assure that an enhanced and country-specific pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS) would be in place to better prepare those who intend to work outside the country.
Caunan said the DMW’s counterpart in KSA, the Ministry on Human Resources and Social Development, has given the department its all-out support.
The DMW has also scheduled a joint committee meeting with its counterpart in the UAE.
“Expect in the coming weeks that we will be calling a series of meetings and dialogues with different stakeholders including our OFWs to get all the concerns, from the private recruitment agencies, and from our OFWs with regards to our deployment in the UAE,” she said.
She added that the UAE already said that they are looking for more skilled workers.
With this development, Caunan said the DMW is looking forward to having a stronger alliance and cooperation with the UAE, especially in the country’s fight against human trafficking, illegal recruitment and third-country recruitment.
A joint committee meeting between the Philippines and Qatar is also expected to happen in September, while they are also looking forward to having stronger ties with Oman which has also communicated that they are in demand for workers.
Some countries in Europe have also been very active in promoting job opportunities.
“In Austria, konti na lang (in a short while) and we are about to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with Austria and other countries in Europe including Portugal, maraming nakapila (many are in line),” Caunan said.
She said that Austria has already reiterated its desire to forge a MOC for healthcare workers.
“We are looking forward to signing a bilateral labor agreement for general cooperation for skilled workers in Austria,” she added.
To help Filipinos who intend to work in their country as healthcare workers, Caunan said that Austria said they will ease the process of going there, as well as the professional qualification for them to be recognized in Austria.
Aside from the high salary that may range from 2,500 to 2,800 Euros, Caunan said that other benefits await successful applicants including a 14th-month pay, reunification with family members for full-pledge nurses, and a pathway for obtaining a permanent residency and eventually citizenship.
Caunan said that Austria told them that they would be needing about 200,000 workers spreading in 98 occupations.
Meanwhile, another growing market in Europe, Caunan said, is Hungary. (PNA)