Update on Effects of Oil Price Decrease on the Employment of OFWs
Department of Labor and Employment
21 March 2016
(Following the instruction of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz to all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices to provide weekly updates on the effects of the oil price decline on OFWs, the Labor Communications Office, in cooperation with the International Labor Affairs Bureau, is providing below a summary of the POLO reports for the week.)
While the Macau economy is not affected by the slump in oil prices and OFWs are not affected, its revenues from gaming—on which it depends much, including on tourism, textile, and garments—have been declining since 2014. The POLO in Macau reported one termination last week, an engineer whose project he was working on had been completed. He has scheduled interviews for a possible new job. POLO processed 18 individual contracts this week—12 for domestic workers and six for hotel workers—bringing to 51 the individual contracts in the first three weeks of March, compared to 36 contracts in January and 35 contracts in February.
In Brunei, the POLO reported no lay-off last week. Job orders verified increased from 29—with 36 workers involved—in the second week of March to 34 last week involving 110 workers. Individual contracts verified last week reached 72, an increase over the 70 last week. Likewise, OECs issued increased, from 261 in the second week to 556 last week. OWWA membership recorded reached 319 last week, compared to only 157 the previous week.
In Singapore, the POLO reported that the labor market continues to be sluggish, with no new employment being created for foreign workers due to economic slowdown. No reported lay-offs of OFWs this week.
The POLO in Australia (which has jurisdiction over New Zealand) reported that six OFWs working in oil-related project of CAPE Australia were sent home on vacation due to a slowdown and will be called back to resume in other projects in a couple of weeks. Other than this, there was no significant change in the employment situation of OFWs. Five job orders involving 30 OFWs—two caregivers; two mechanics; 25 electricians; a senior stockperson; and two livestock farmers—were processed last week compared to six job orders involving 28 OFWs the previous week. This is on top of another job order for 40 bakers and 40 pastry cooks. Two employment contracts were also processed compared to four contracts the previous week, while 10 OECs were processed last week compared to 14 OECs the previous week.
EUROPE AND THE AMERICAS
As of reporting period, the POLO in Milan, Italy continued to say the oil price decline has no impact on the employment of OFWs. The whole of February saw 236 OECs issued to 369 in the three weeks of March on the account of the strict implementation of the “lavoro subordinato”, or work permit-holders only. Only one employment contract was processed last week.
The next update will be Monday, 28 March 2016. For questions, please contact the Labor Communications Office at 527-3446.