Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said repatriates from Libya and from other crisis-stricken countries who will come home to the Philippines and decide to seek employment in the local labor market will find jobs to their liking as long as they are qualified and willing to work.
“There are local jobs for OFW repatriates, and it is unfair to say that OFWs in crisis-stricken countries “refuse” to come home because there are no local jobs available,” said Baldoz.
She explained that the main probable reason some OFWs are adamant to go back to the Philippines is the difference in pay, which she explained was the reason they left the country in the first place.
“We know that most workers who go abroad have jobs here before they decided to look for a greener pasture because experience-wise, only those with at least two years of experience get to work overseas. They endure the risks of working abroad because of higher paychecks,” Baldoz said.
She added that a number of OFWs she had encountered during her meetings with OFW communities abroad have expressed to her their desire to already come home where they could be with their families and the risks of dislocation on account of political upheaval and other threats to security are less.
The labor and employment chief said a tally made by the Bureau of Local Employment on the job vacancies available for Libya repatriates between 4 July and 4 August 2014 reveal that there are 979 construction and engineering-related job vacancies posted in the Phil-Jobnet website. Of this number, 854, or 87 percent, are available positions located in the Philippines (local), while the remaining 125, or 13 percent, are abroad.
“These are only for engineering jobs. The BLE is still collating the job vacancies for medical and other professional workers,” she said.
She reiterated this assurance following the DOLE’s intensified public awareness initiatives on the availability of local jobs that may be accessed through the Enhanced Phil-Jobnet System (E-PJN). The E-PJN is the government’s web-based job matching facility and labor market information portal.
Last week, the DOLE Secretary offered OFW repatriates from Libya free job referral assistance and other local employment services, including access to relevant labor market information.
Locally, Baldoz said the available positions are in Region 8, National Capital Region, and Caraga which account for two-thirds of the total local job vacancies.
The top 10 in-demand vacant jobs are construction carpenter (219 vacancies); civil engineer (154); construction laborer (137); construction foreman (93); production engineer (73); mechanical engineer (62); cadet mechanical engineer (51); engineering aide (30); and building construction engineer (28).
In the NCR, the vacant jobs are as follows: construction carpenter (99 vacancies);
network engineer (25); civil engineer (24); computer engineer (15); communications engineer (8); mechanical engineer (6); electronics and communications engineer (4); engineer II (3); industrial engineer (3); materials engineer (3); electrical engineer (2); sales engineer (2); cadet mechanical engineer (1); engineer I (1); engineer V (1); engineering and maintenance supervisor (1); and maintenance engineer (1).
In the CAR, the needs are as follows: construction manager (1); electrical engineer (5); civil engineer (3); cost engineer (1); electromechanical equipment engineer (1); and safety engineer (1).
In Region 1, the vacancies are as follows: civil engineer (12); electrical engineer (2); mechanical engineer (2); and cadet electrical engineer (1).
In Region 3, there are needs for construction carpenter (7 vacancies); construction bricklayer (2); production engineer (60); building construction engineer (20); engineering manager (10); cadet mechanical engineer (50); engineering and maintenance supervisor (1); and maintenance engineer (1).
In Region 4-A, there are vacancies for production engineer (10) and civil engineer (6); In Region6, the vacancies are for general civil engineer (5); general electrical engineer (1); and general mechanical engineer (1). In Region 7, there is a need for 16 construction carpenters. In Region 8, the vacancies are for construction laborer (111); construction carpenter (97); and construction foreman (1).
In Region 12, there is a need for 26 construction laborer; construction foreman (8); construction and maintenance foreman (1); and construction foreman (1). In Caraga, 78 construction foremen; 50 civil engineers; 50 mechanical engineers; and 8 building construction engineers are needed.
Overseas, the Phil-Jobnet database reveals that employment for construction and engineering-related professions are available in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Malaysia.
In the latter, there is a need for 2 chemical engineers. In Qatar, the vacancies are for construction foreman (6); construction equipment operator (4); site engineer (3); production engineer (2); production engineering assistant supervisor (2); equipment control engineer (1); industrial engineer (1); and electrical engineer (1).
In Saudi Arabia, the vacancies are for construction painter (2); civil engineer (3); mechanical engineer (3); high voltage electrical engineering technician (2); heating, ventilation, and air condition engineer (2); materials engineer (2); structural engineer (2); civil engineering draftsman (1); cost engineer (1); electrical engineer (1); engineer (1); production engineer (1); production engineering supervisor (1); and sanitary engineer (1).
Finally, in Singapore, the vacancies are for 50 civil engineers and 30 engineering aides.
Job referral assistance is one of the services the DOLE offers under the Assist WELL Program, a package of comprehensive assistance and services to ensure that returning OFWs are immediately integrated in the mainstream of Philippine society.
The Assist WELL Program, a component of the National Reintegration Program, is a convergence of services and assistance of various DOLE agencies, namely, POEA, OWWA, TESDA, BLE, BWSC, ILAB, and the Labor Communications Office.
Baldoz urged repatriated OFWs anew to stay in the country, saying the government, through the DOLE, continues to intensify its efforts in providing all necessary intervention for their safe and smooth return.
“We are ready for their arrival and subsequent reintegration in their home country. “We have many job opportunities for our OFWs here. Opportunities that will help them move forward in life; and aside from giving a boost in our local economy, they will be with their loved ones here,” she finally said.