MANILA, Philippines – More highly skilled workers are likely to get employed in Algeria despite the prevailing global economic crisis, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday.
Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said the number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Algeria is expected to increase substantially due to the growing demand for foreign workers there.
Roque said there is a growing demand for construction and agriculture workers and Algerian companies prefer to hire Filipinos.
Reports from labor officials in Libya, who exercise jurisdiction over the OFWs in neighboring economies like Algeria, said the impressive economic developments in that country are complemented by the successful reduction of its external debt to the Paris and London Clubs, the strength of its oil and gas sectors, as well as the construction of flourishing new cities in the desert.
“In the light of the host country’s impressive thrusts, the globally preferred OFWs would continue to affirm their productive contributions and are poised to increase their presence in the area substantially into the future,” Roque said.
Labor Attaché Nasser S. Mustafa, who heads the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Tripoli, reported that there are three global companies currently engaged in massive Algerian development projects that would need some 7,050 OFWs.
He identified the three firms as Daewoo E&C of Korea, the COJAAL consortium of Japan, and SNC Lavalin of Canada.
Currently, there are 2,697 OFWs in Algeria.
Despite the nationalization policy of Algeria, Mustafa said workers from the Philippines are still preferred because of their skills and are likely to be given priority in that country’s thrust to build new cities for its growing population and economy.
Mustafa said that Daewoo E&C alone would need mainly professional and skilled workers like engineers, electricians, pipe fitters, welders, carpenters, masons and others for a prospective $569.3-million project in the new Algerian oasis city of Bourghezoul in the vast agricultural region of Medea Wilaya over a three-year period.
All in all, the company could require OFWs for prospective projects involved in building the new city (1,500 OFWs) and its adjunct irrigation (300) and underground works (700), as well as a fertilizer plant (1,500) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) undertakings (1,500) both in the French-built city of Oran, and a post project in Shengin (150).
The Japanese consortium of COJAAL, according to Mustafa, would need 600 OFWs for asphalting roads and related infrastructure projects in Constantine and Annaba, Algeria. COJAAL, which includes the firms Kajima, Taichi, Nishimachu, Hajama, and Itochu, currently has an existing OFW stock estimate of 2,150.
Mustafa said that SNC Lavalin of Canada, already well known for its massive renovation of the Benghazi International Airport in Libya, had signified its intention to hire another 800 OFWs for the construction of a water dam in Wilaya Blida, on top of the 300 previously deployed in the Algerian government project. –Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star