SURIGAO CITY, Philippines – Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz assured the public that not all of the 1.5 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia will lose their jobs due to the Saudization policy because most of them are highly skilled.
“Huwag po kayo maniwala na maaapektuhan agad and ating 1.5 million na manggagawa sa Saudi Arabia (Don’t believe that 1.5 million of our workers in Saudi Arabia will be affected),” Baldoz said during the 68th Caraga Regional Development Council meeting here last Friday.
Baldoz said the labor secretary of Saudi Arabia had promised her during their meeting in Geneva last June that the kingdom will continue to hire migrant workers because the construction of mega-cities will begin in 2014.
She explained that Saudi Arabia is giving its nationals priority in the workforce because of the continuing protests in Middle East countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Bahrain.
Baldoz said large firms in Saudi Arabia are hiring more highly skilled workers.
“In that way highly skilled OFWs fit in the needs of Saudi Arabia for their development goals like construction of mega-cities that will start in 2014,” she said.
Baldoz said the government is ready to help OFWs in Saudi Arabia who decide to return home by providing capital for enterprises.