To encourage Filipino workers in Qatar and Saudi Arabia to come home, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is planning to conduct week-long job fairs there showcasing available jobs in the Philippines.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said about 18,000 jobs will be on offer from former Senator Manny Villar’s private construction firm.
“In the meantime, we are getting the profile of our OFWs in the Middle East,” he said.
Bello will meet with Villar on Friday to discuss the positions that are available, but skilled workers such as construction laborers will most likely be needed.
He added that the Department of Education (DepEd) will need 2,000 teachers who will receive an estimated P21,000 monthly salary.
Bello believes OFWs will take the jobs even if there is a gap in the salary due to the psychological toll of being away from their families.
“Although we cannot provide siguro ‘yung equal level of salary…Alam kong magandang maghanap ng trabahong mataas, pero you have to realize the social implication of our OFWs going abroad to look for jobs so they can have money for their families at the expense of leaving their family,” he said.
“Kung ang difference lang isang libo, dalawang libo, I think they will prefer to stay in because it means having a natural life, a normal life with your family.”
DOLE will prioritize OFWs displaced by Qatar’s diplomatic crisis with other Arab countries. They are also devising ways to help OFWs try to find work in other markets.
Bello believes OFWs will also be enticed to return home to take up one of the 2 million jobs a year that will be generated by the P8 to P9 trillion Build! Build! Build! infrastructure program of the Duterte administration from 2017 to 2022.
“Maganda rin ito dahil nagja-jive sa final objective ng ating pangulo na ma-repatriate lahat ‘yung ating mga kababayan. That is the reason why we do these major infrastructure program,” he said.