More OFWs to enter Oman as travel ban lifted

MANILA – The Philippine Overseas Employment Office (POLO) in the Sultanate of Oman is expecting more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to enter the host country as both the Philippine and Oman governments have lifted the deployment ban this month.

In a virtual forum on Friday, Labor Attache Gregorio Abalos, Jr., said they are looking at over 1,000 Filipinos to be deployed since the entry of OFWs was stopped due to the deployment ban.

He added that before the pandemic, they process more than 1,000 contracts a month.

“We are expecting more because many were not able to go to Oman because of the ban so we will be expecting them maybe this month and next month. Their number is expected to increase from the average and then at a certain time it will level off from the usual 1,000 to 1,500 a month,” he said.

Some 50,000 Filipinos are working in Oman, composed of professionals such as engineers, teachers, health care workers (HCWs) while semi-skilled workers such as waiters, household service workers (HSWs), salesladies, among others.

“There are many malls here where our semi-skilled workers are employed, also in coffee shops and retail establishments,” he added.

The bulk of the Filipinos working there are HSWs representing 65-75 percent of the total number of OFWs.

The Philippine government lifted the travel ban imposed on Oman on Sept. 6, in response to the latter’s decision to allow again the entry of OFWs and Filipino travelers effective Sept. 1.

Also lifted was the travel ban on nine other countries.

On the other hand, Abalos opined that the ‘Omanization’ policy of the Arab nation or giving priority to its citizens in providing jobs will increase the hiring of Filipino workers particularly HSWs.

“Since the husband and wife will be working because of Omanization, nobody will be left to take care of their children and their household, that is where our HSWs come in. They have the means to hire HSWs. There will be an increase in hiring of HSWs, that is my projection,” the labor attache added.

Abalos said Filipino HSWs there are paid well and most preferred by employers, with a salary of up to US$400 a month.

Aside from Filipinos, other nationals working in Oman as HSWs are Sri Lankan, Ethiopian, and Bangladeshi. (PNA)

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