MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported yesterday that more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are getting jobs abroad rather than being retrenched even with the prevailing global economic crisis.
POEA Administrator Jennifer Manalili said the OFWs deployed overseas increased by 27.3 percent in the first two months of 2009 compared to the same period last year.
“On the average, 4,803 Filipino are now leaving the country daily for employment abroad,” Manalili said.
From January to February, Manalili said, POEA has recorded a total deployment of 283,348.
She added that the current deployment was 60,740 more than the number of Filipino workers deployed in the first two months of 2008.
Manalili said the POEA processed 196,967 contracts of OFWs in the first two months of the year compared to last year’s 228,954; based on the contracts processed, the number of newly hired workers increased from 64,826 to 66,775 while rehired workers declined by 43.5 percent.
Manalili expressed confidence that the number of workers hired abroad, whether new hires or re-hires, will continue in the coming months.
“The figure is still preliminary and does not yet include data from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office which issues overseas employment certificate,” Manalili pointed out.
She said thousands of job orders are yet to be filled up and that labor officials are discussing agreements with various foreign countries for the hiring of more Filipino workers.
Recruitment leaders, however, reported an increasing number of OFWs who have been laid off or facing retrenchment in the coming months because of the economic crisis.
“We have been getting reports of OFWs whose contracts are no longer being renewed so the number of rehired is now declining,” said recruiter Lito Soriano.
Records of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) showed that the crisis has already affected a total of 104,284 Filipino workers in the country and abroad.
The same data indicated that 6,366 OFWs were displaced as a result of the economic crisis since October to February.–Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star