Update on Effects of Oil Price Decrease on the Employment of OFWs
Department of Labor and Employment
28 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.)
Macau. The POLO in Macau processed two JOs for 324 workers, broken down into 318 hotel staff and 6 cleaners. POLO also processed 18 HSW contracts, in all showing increase from the previous week’s 51 workers hired. As a small economy largely dependent on tourism for its world-renowned casinos and entertainment industry, Macau is not directly affected by the on-going global oil price fall. It remains to be seen, however, how the tiny economy may react should the volume of tourism receipts—a good percentage of which is made up of wealthy Arab, African, and Asian oil businessmen – starts feeling a crunch. Quite obviously, it will impact foreign workers in the territory as well.
Brunei. POLO reported a decline in the number of job contracts processed compared to a week ago: 13 JOs involving 212 workers vs. 34 JOs for 110 workers, and from 72 to 40 individual contracts processed. It stressed that the figures do not indicate any clearly attributable impact of the falling oil prices.
Malaysia. As mentioned in earlier reports from the POLO, there are some indications that falling oil prices have impacted the Malaysian economy, though the economic slow down the country is experiencing has begun in 2014. The oil and gas sector, which is a key part of the economy, is, however, reported to be robust, although the absence of new infrastructure projects may be an indication of oil revenue shortfalls. There were no reported displaced OFWs this week.
Australia. Data reported by POLO as to the upward or downward movement of OFWs hit by oil price fall-related job displacement is less significant during the week in review.
EUROPE AND THE AMERICAS
Canada. POLO-Vancouver reported no contract termination related to the oil price slump. It notes that reduction in employment opportunities, including non-renewal of employment contracts of OFWs, are primarily due to Federal labor policy changes since early 2014 and not on the oil price fall.
Dubai. POLO reported that based on a year-ago comparison, the number of verified job order went up in March to 48 percent, or a total of 2,315 job vacancies, all in the service sector.
Qatar. POLO reported that 60 Filipino workers of the Qatari Diar Vince Construction company were among those whose contracts were due to be terminated by April 17 in view of company’s down-sizing and cost-cutting measures. Some of the workers affected are said to have been with the company for up to 10 years, are occupying positions of consequence, and receiving competitive salaries. The company presently employs some 10,000 workers of different nationalities.
Oman. Report from the POLO likewise suggest absence of any noticeable disturbance in OFW employment situation in the country that may be the result of oil price drop.
Saudi Arabia. In Al Khobar, the POLO filed a report saying there had been no observable change that may indicate possible oil price fall-induced impact in the OFW employment situation during the past week. In fact, POLO noted a slight uptick, by 11 percent, in the number of JOs verified.
Bahrain. POLO noted a drop from 40 to 24 JOs processed but an increase in the number of workers hired from 113 to 191 between March 13 and 17. By and large, the above reports suggest that the on-going oil price fall has so far had no significant impact, hitherto, on OFWs currently employed.
The next update will be Monday, 04 April 2016. For questions, please contact the Labor Communications Office at 527-3446.