THE deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will continue to decline this year, a recruitment analyst said.
Emmanuel Geslani said the downtrend was first seen in 2017 and is expected to continue in 2019 mainly due to the economies of Middle East
In a statement, Geslani said he believes that 2019 deployment of OFWs will be no different than those seen in 2017 and 2018.
“Deployment of OFWs is expected to further decline in 2019,” said Geslani.
He said this is mainly due to the economies of Middle East countries, which is the largest labor market for OFWs, still staying flat due to the lower oil prices.
“The economies of some Middle East countries especially Saudi Arabia, is predicted to stay flat with lower crude oil prices. And that is bad news for OFWs, whose main market is Saudi Arabia,” said Geslani.
“Other Middle East countries, like Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Iraq, and Iran, economies will stay flat due to the lower oil prices in the middle of the year,” he added.
In addition, the recruitment consultant also cited the growing preference of Middle East countries to hire their own nationals.
“Saudization is being implemented at a faster pace with previous white collar jobs for expatriates now being taken over by Saudi nationals,” pointed Geslani.
Records show that, in 2017, the deployment of OFWs went down by 9 percent while another 8-10 percent decline is seen for 2018.
The decline, Geslani noted, comes after 10 years of continuous growth in OFW deployment rate.
Nevertheless, he said he believes that there are other markets that may still be able to provide employment opportunities for OFWs.
They include Qatar, Japan, China, New Zealand, and some parts of Europe.
“There is still a silver lining for our OFWs,” he said.
Geslani cited the massive construction boom in Qatar brought by the ongoing preparations for the FIFA World Cup in 2022 as prompting a high demand for construction workers and, subsequently, hotel and service workers.
In April, Geslani said Japan is set to open its door for OFWs with working visas good for five years in 14 sectors, particularly in sectors of nursing, construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and other minor fields.
Meanwhile, he related that New Zealand will continue to attract construction and farming workers, while Australia will be needing construction workers.
He also noted that China is currently in need of household service workers and English teachers, while Germany needs nurses.
Finally, Geslani said European countries like Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary shall be needing hotel workers. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)