The Philippine government is eyeing Oman and Bahrain as alternative employment destinations for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the government’s decision to stop deployment to Kuwait amid reports of abuses.
“We are particularly keen on finding alternative employment in countries such Oman and Bahrain, both of which
are signatories to the relevant ILO (International Labor Organization) Convention that protects migrant workers,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said in a news briefing on Monday.
Roque said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd was also working on a mechanism to deploy workers to China as another alternative destination.
“The mechanism is being worked out. Hopefully, there will be bilateral agreements soon,” Roque said.
Bello in a statement said there were lots of other alternative job markets for OFWs affected by the deployment ban to Kuwait, including Czechoslovakia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States.
“There are more than 100,000 jobs available to our OFWs. That would not be enough but we will also provide them with livelihood alternatives,” Bello added.
There are about 260,000 OFWs in Kuwait, about 160,000 of them household service workers or domestic helpers.
As an OFW currently working in Oman, we are aware of what is happening in the job market particularly with the six Months ban on hiring expat workers in 10 sectors of 87 professions in particular.