Major infrastructure projects are on hold in Saudi Arabia as crude oil prices are slowly going down to the $60 a barrel range from a high of $79 earlier this year, and some companies are folding up due to the inability of the Saudi government to pay off debts.
File
Shift in employment, migration to north Asia seen — expert
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Job opportunities for overseas Filipino workers are shifting to the north of Asia or Japan while the Middle East is slowly losing its glint for OFWs as deployment to oil-rich countries goes down every year, according to a recruitment and migration expert.

Recruitment consultant Manny Geslani said that except for Qatar which has not been affected by volatile futures of world crude, other Middle East economies are barely coping with the instability of oil prices.

Major infrastructure projects are on hold in Saudi Arabia as crude oil prices are slowly going down to the $60 a barrel range from a high of $79 earlier this year, and some companies are folding up due to the inability of the Saudi government to pay off debts.

Last year, the deployment of overseas Filipino  workers to 180 countries all over the world declined by nine percent, compared with the figure in 2016, a banner year for OFW deployment, when it hit 2,112,331, data provided by Geslani showed.

Further decrease in deployment especially to the Middle East in 2019 is seen as migrant workers especially the skilled ones are now looking forward to the opening of the Japan labor market by the first quarter next year.

Geslani said Japan’s National Diet (bicameral legislature) is speeding up legislation that will allow more migrant workers to enter Japan on work visas for 18 categories badly needed by the country’s economy.

He added that Japan’s aging population has put a drain on the nation’s workforce that its government has now decided to allow immigrants with valid work visas to live and work legally for five years. They may even bring their families as long as their salaries can afford the high standard of living in Japan.

The current shortfalls, according to data from Geslani, range from 60,000 nurses, 36,000 farmers, 40,000 in construction, and 53,000 for restaurants. These are actual labor shortages in 14 labor categories over a five-year period staring in April 2019.

OFWs are now flocking to the 120 licensed agencies accredited at present by the Japan International Training Cooperation Organization (JITCO) to give their resumes and be lined up for the 14-18 categories that will be opened by next year.

At present, Japan allows the entry of trainee or internship workers under JITCO mostly for manufacturing and automobile companies, Geslani said.

Caregivers are part of the demand by Japanese senior citizens numbering close to almost 30 percent of the present population, meaning one in very five citizen is a senior over 65 years old. This is expected to rise to almost 35 percent by 2025.

This move by thousands of OFWs to the Japan labor market, according to Geslani, will further shrink deployment to the Middle East in the next five years as the disparity in wages among Middle East countries is quite wide and the work environment not really ideal for the unskilled categories.

New Zealand has also attracted thousands of Filipino skilled workers in the past years and the promise of permanent residency has further firmed up the desire to work in that country. 

Some European countries have expressed willingness to hire more Filipino hospitality workers with their growing economies. – With Mayen Jaymalin

EMPLOYMENT OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with