The Department of Labor and Employment is mulling at limiting the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East, Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Monday.
“I received a lot of concerns and complaints from our Filipino household workers in the Middle East. This is why I am seriously considering, if not to suspend, to decrease the number of deployment of domestic helpers, OFWs, and skilled workers especially in the Middle East,” Bello told a media forum in Manila.
Bello lamented that OFWs, most especially those deployed in the Arab countries, are highly exposed to abuse by their employers.
At the same time, the labor chief said the country has scarcity in skilled workers such as carpenters, electrician, plumber, because they chose to work overseas for a much higher pay.
“We are studying the level of shortage of our skilled workers in the country. Even I had experienced this. Before, I can easily get a plumber with much lesser cost, but now, even if you offer a considerable amount of fee, these skilled workers would ignore you. So we should now slowdown in processing the deployment of these skilled workers,” Bello said.
He said the labor department is fast tracking the training of skilled workers to immediately address the shortage problem.
“They are in demand. Skilled workers shortage problem in the country is big. I am in talks with our agencies to fast track their training for the benefit of the country. We need to prioritize our own skilled workers,” he said.
He also said that after the training of the skilled workers that is the time when they can acquire more experience and get better jobs and positions in the country for a much higher wages and benefits.