Labor team checks on Filipinos overseas

Published by rudy Date posted on January 8, 2009

A special team from the Department of Labor and Employment will be dispatched in countries where there are large concentration of Filipino workers to determine if they can hold on to their jobs in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque told Standard Today that he named Deputy Administrator Teresita Manzadala, chief of the agency’s national reintegration center, as head of the Advance Integration Team.

Roque said the team will visit job sites in host countries such as Taiwan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and coordinate with the companies and Filipino workers to check on their working conditions.

“This way, the government can have an immediate grasp of the plight of Filipino workers in host countries,” Roque said.

Instead of waiting for the workers to be displaced, the Philippine government will go straight to the work sites and be able to draw up a more realistic contingency plan, Roque said.

The team will also determine if the displaced workers are qualified for redeployment, or need to undergo further training, Roque said.

Saying that the labor situation was blown out of proportions, Roque said there were only 3,567 workers who went home jobless as of Dec. 23 last year, the bulk of which came from Taiwan with 3,321.

Compare that to 3,647 Filipino workers who leave the country daily to work in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Taiwan, Kuwait and Hong Kong, and you’ll see we have more workers getting hired than being fired abroad, Roque said.

DoLE officials said workers in electronics, garments and coconut oil companies were likely to suffer the brunt as their products are exported mainly to US and Europe, which were reeling from the economic meltdown. –Arlie Calalo, Manila Standard Today

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