SOME 20,000 job opportunities in the country will be offered to Filipinos in Qatar and Saudi Arabia through job fairs by the Department of Labor and Employment.
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, they were planning to conduct a one-week job search activities showcasing different employment opportunities in the Philippines.
“We are planning to send a job fair in Qatar and in Saudi Arabia. This is the reverse. We would be conducting a job fair in Qatar and in Saudi for jobs available in our country and there are 18,000 jobs ready for them here,” he told a press conference on Tuesday.
Bello revealed the 18,000 jobs would be provided by former Senator Manuel Villar.
“So, in the meantime, we are getting the profile of our overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East and at the same time we are planning to meet with former senator Villar who is in need of 18,000 skilled workers,” he said.
“We will get a profile of our overseas workers and then we will check with former senator Villar on the jobs that they need. This is reverse. Usually, the job fair is local for deployment. Now, we will conduct the job fair there for deployment here in the country. There are 18,000 available jobs,” Bello added.
The DoLE chief revealed he would be meeting with the former lawmaker this Friday to discuss the matter including what kind of jobs he was offering.
“That is what we are going to talk about on Friday. But I think this will be skilled workers. It’s because former senator Villar is in the construction industry,” he said.
Bello noted that he would be sending a team to the host countries for the planned job fairs.
“We will send a team, this time to be headed by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator Bernard Olalia and probably Undersecretary Jacinto Paras may want to join us,” he said.
“Maybe we have one week for the job fairs. We have to coordinate with the former senator so we will know what kind of workers he may need. And then, the team goes there to sell the available jobs here. Hopefully, this will help address the displacement of our workers there,” Bello said.
Aside from the 18,000 jobs, some 2,000 teachers are needed by the Department of Education.
DoLE figures show that there are some 250,000 Filipino workers in Qatar of which about 75 percent are household service workers.
Asked what he can advise to the displaced OFWs in Saudi Arabia, Bello answered, “If there are really no jobs there, the best thing to do is to come home. Hopefully, there are jobs here waiting for them. In case there is none, livelihood assistance will be provided to them, extended to them under the reintegration program of OWWA.