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Demand for Filipino DH drops
« on: June 14, 2007, 03:51:33 PM »
Deployment of Filipino domestic helpers to the Middle East dropped by 9 to 10 percent in the first five months of 2007, but Labor Secretary Arturo Brion refused to attribute the decline to the government’s policy doubling the minimum salary for household service workers to $400 beginning December 15, 2006.

Brion told newsmen in an interview that the demand for HSWs has gone down while job orders for skilled workers and professionals like nurses, engineers and teachers have increased.

The drop in the deployment of domestic helpers did not seem to bother the labor chief at all. “What is most important is that the deployment of our professionals and skilled workers is going up," he stressed.

He noted that between January and May, professionals such as nurses, engineers, teachers and other skilled workers comprise the biggest bulk of deployment while domestic workers had fallen to third place.

“Our HSW are now in No.3 and leading in the deployment is the professionals and skilled workers," Brion said.

Labor attaché Romeo Young earlier reported that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Oman has verified at least 25 job orders in the first three months of the year, representing a significant increase from 18 job orders during the same period in 2006.

He said job orders in Oman for Filipino workers have increased and labor officials noted a shift from domestic helpers to services and technical workers.

The job orders would benefit at least 4, 234 Filipino workers, according to POEA Administrator Rosalinda Baldoz.

She said the shift is a positive sign that the reform package for Filipino household workers implemented since December 2006 has become effective in improving the quality of Filipino manpower required by foreign employers.

The labor attaché reported that job requests for household workers decreased to a low of 15 percent of the total job orders during the first quarter, from 60 percent in January to March 2006.

Baldoz noted that 52 percent of the demand was on service industry workers such as sales persons, waiters and waitresses, beauticians, building workers; and 16 percent from the engineering and construction industry sector.

She said she anticipates the shift in the quality of manpower demand in the Middle East, not only because of the implementation of the reform package for Filipino household service workers but also of the development of the tourism, oil and industry sectors in the region.

Another labor official, who did not want to be named, attributed the drop in the deployment of domestic helpers partly to the salary adjustment. He said many employers in the Middle East opted to extend the contract of their Filipino household service worker instead of giving her a plane ticket to go back to the Philippines.

The official said this was a way to avoid hiring back the same worker at the higher monthly salary of $400.

“Sa mga domestic helpers na nag-expire na ang mga kontrata hindi na sila umuuwi para mag-renew kasi ang ginagawa doon ngayon sa Middle East ng mga employers nila instead of buying them plane tickets ibinibigay na lang ito sa domestic workers to extend their contracts," the official said.

Other Middle Eastern employers hired domestic helpers from India and other Asian countries that offered lower salary for their workers.

Administrator Marianito Roque of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)explained in a separate interview that only the new contracts processed by the POEA are covered by the US$400 minimum salary for HSW.

Asked if it is likely that employers are really extending the contracts of their workers without the approval from the Philippine government, Roque said, “It’s possible".

Earlier, recruiters from the GCC or the Cooperation Council of the Arab States in the Gulf had threatened to recommend a ban to Filipino domestic helpers until the Philippine government revises the policy mandating the $400 monthly salary and, at the same time, imposing a $13 penalty on foreign employers who would not comply with the contract provisions, such as delayed payment or underpayment of agreed salaries.

Members of the GCC are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

In Bahrain, the demand for skilled Filipino workers has also posted a steady increase.

Philippine Ambassador Eduardo Maglaya noted a 17.7 percent increase in the number of Filipinos either hired or rehired in 2006, or from 9, 968 in 2006 to 11,736 in 2006.

"Filipinos have found a niche in Bahrain's labor market - which is in the service industry - and we expect more workers, particularly professionals, to come. There is also a need for middle and upper management level workers in the IT and banking industries, said Philippine Ambassador Eduardo Maglaya.

He also noted the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Philippines and Bahrain in April this year, which will pave the way for Filipino nurses and doctors to go to Bahrain, while Bahraini health workers would come to the Philippines as part of the exchange program."

Maglaya said that the continued growing demand for workers from the Philippines represented the strong preference shown by Bahraini companies to Filipinos.

Since the $400 monthly salary rate took effect in January, Maglaya said the embassy has already processed more than 100 contracts for Filipino domestic workers.

"The Philippine government imposed this rule for a good reason and we only hope that others would follow suit. As for skilled Filipino workers, three of the biggest recruiters of Filipinos in Bahrain actually do not need to go to recruiting agencies - most of these giant companies send their own officials to the Philippines to hire workers," Maglaya said.

About 30,000 of the estimated 40,000 Filipinos in Bahrain are workers, 5,000 are dependents and another 5,000 were classified as undocumented workers. - GMANews.TV

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Re: Demand for Filipino DH drops
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 04:31:36 PM »

unsaon na lang kung tanan skilled workers adto na manrbaho sa gawas,unsaon nalng ang pinas!

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