More Filipino workers left the country last year to work abroad despite the continuing depreciation of the dollar.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) yesterday reported a slight growth in the number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) deployed abroad in 2007.
POEA chief Rosalinda Baldoz said the government not only achieved its annual target of one million overseas deployments, but even exceeded last year’s figure by 11,000.
Data from POEA showed that the number of Filipinos deployed to work in various countries abroad reached 1,073,402, or one percent higher than the 1,062,567 workers who went abroad in 2006.
The number of land-based workers hired in 2007 went up to 809,740 compared to the 788,070 deployed the previous year.
But deployment of sea-based workers went down by 3.9 percent to 263,662 from last year’s total of 274,497.
POEA also recorded a decrease from 1,221,417 to 1,1,208. 220 the number of contracts processed. Land-based workers accounted for the bulk of the drop.
For the past 11 months, the government has recorded a continuing drop in deployment of workers abroad mainly due to the implementation of a new policy on hiring of Filipino maids.
POEA officials, however, said latest data proved that despite the stricter deployment policy, foreign employers still prefer to hire Filipino workers.
Earlier, the local recruitment industry reported that more Filipino professionals are opting to stay and seek local employment due to the continuing depreciation of the dollar that adversely affected the spending power of many OFWs and their families.
Recruitment officials also claimed that despite the increase in overseas deployment, fewer overseas jobs were generated, with rehires accounting for the bulk of workers deployed last year.
POEA data showed that the number of new hires or recorded new jobs abroad dropped by 1.9 percent to 311,598 from 317,680 in 2006.
As this developed, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday warned recruitment agencies against excessive charges on workers aspiring to work in Taiwan.
Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said he received reports that many recruitment agencies are collecting excessive placement fees from OFWs, ranging from P50,000 to P190,000.
Brion said POEA rules restrict recruiters from collecting placement fees more than the equivalent of the workers’ one month-salary.
The labor chief said POEA would suspend and cancel the license to operate of those agencies found violating the regulation.–Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star