^

OFW advocate calls for inquiry on falling oil prices in Middle East

(The Freeman) - January 24, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Overseas Filipino Workers advocate and senatorial aspirant Susan Ople urged both Houses of Congress to conduct an inquiry into the adverse effects of falling oil pri-ces on OFWs in the Middle East and the private recruitment industry.

“We have to look at both sides. Kasi dito sa atin, maganda dahil bu-maba ‘yung presyo ng fuel but on the other hand, several of our Filipino workers abroad, natanggal sa trabaho,”said Ople in a press conference here the other day.

The world price of oil recently fell below the $30/barrel benchmark for the first time in 12 years, which according to a CNN report, represents a 72 percent drop from levels just 18 months ago, the statement said.

The former labor undersecretary issued this call in light of a report from a local recruitment firm, Profile Overseas Manpower Services, Inc, that a Saudi company has informed over 50 recently deployed workers of the termination of their work contracts.

The Saudi company that deals with oil and gas services said its contract with the government will no longer push through, hence, the notice of termination.

Ople said that ano-ther recruitment agency, LBS Recruitment Solutions, a construction company in Qatar had also informed the agency that it would no longer need Fili-pino workers because its multi-billion engineering project has been put on hold by the Qatari government.

Ople noted that as oil prices fall, the Saudi government has announced a series of economic reforms that include budget cuts and austerity measures.

She added that private recruitment agencies that service Middle East companies that thrive on government contracts may find themselves in a bind since under current POEA rules, these agencies can be held answerable for contract violations by the employers.

“If a company in the Middle East lays off a significant amount of Filipino workers because its projects have been put on hold by the government, what would be the protocols to be followed by our labor attaches and private recruitment agencies to ensure that the rights of these workers would be protected? This is a new frontier and there has to be tripartite consultations to come up with proper guidelines and clearer rules,” she said.

The current downturn in the Saudi economy is prompted by its policy of maintaining market share by outlasting competitors in the United States, Canada, Iran and other oil producing countries.  (FREEMAN)

 

HOUSES OF CONGRESS KASI MIDDLE EAST OPLE OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS PROFILE OVERSEAS MANPOWER SERVICES QATARI RECRUITMENT RECRUITMENT SOLUTIONS SUSAN OPLE UNITED STATES
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
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!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with