DMW studying more bilateral agreements for OFWs

DMW studying more bilateral agreements for OFWs
This situation was revealed by recruitment consultant and migration expert Manny Geslani, following claims by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) that the deployment of OFWs is rising in 2022.
STAR / Rudy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — More countries have expressed their interest in hiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said it is studying several possible bilateral agreements.

“[The] ease of doing busineess is really one of our strategies to create decent jobs program for OFWs so definitely more labor bilateral agreements,” DMW Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople said in a press briefing on Friday. She was referring to the department’s plan to undertake streamlining of services for migrant workers. 

The department reported that they are currently in talks with countries in Eastern Europe such as Hungary as well as Croatia, which are said to have “interest in hiring thousands of OFWs.” 

Ople recounted that a delegation of officials from Croatia’s private sector told her some of their considerations for hiring Filipinos are affected by religion, since Croatia is also a predominantly Roman Catholic country, and also cited observations that the Filipinos already working there are “trust-worthy and very family-oriented.”

Eastern European countries reportedly want to hire Filipinos to serve under their hotel and accommodation industries. 

Meanwhile, DMW Policy and International Cooperation Undersecretary Patricia Yvonne Caunan also noted that there is still a global demand to hire more Filipino healthcare workers. 

READ: No shortage of nurses but low pay, lack of tenure driving them abroad 

Bilateral talks with KSA

The department’s first delegation to Saudi Arabia — which will be led by Caunan — is set to travel there this month to iron out issues on OFW deployment.

“We will be coordinating closely with the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) because as you know under the DMW act, we need also to secure the permission… of the Office of the President through the DFA so we will be working on that,” Ople said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. first announced the department’s trip in his State of the Nation Address to weeks ago, saying that the Philippines will also underscore its campaign against human trafficking.

READ: Philippines to pursue deployment talks with Saudi Arabia anew 

The Philippines is hoping to again deploy OFWs to the kingdom but this time, with the assurance that Filipinos will be provided a decent wage and that their reights and welfare are secured. 

To recall, the Department of Labor and Employment in March last year temporarily suspended the verification of employment contracts on top of suspending OFW deployment to Saudi Arabia after big Saudi-based construction firms did not settle the salaries of thousands Filipino employees. — Kaycee Valmonte


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