Qatar was third among the top 10 destinations of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in 2008, and the Philippine Labour Secretary has said employment opportunities for them still abound in the coming year in spite of the global financial crisis.
A year-end report by Philippine Labour Secretary Marianito Roque said there were 21,352 OFWs deployed in Qatar in the first ten months this year, accounting for about 12 percent of the total of 1.221 million getting new jobs in over 190 host countries.
According to Roque, the still growing deployment of OFWs worldwide resulted in more than $13.7bn in remittances to the local economy from January to October this year.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains the number one OFW destination, and absorbed 61,164 or 34.5 percent of the new recruits, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 34,595 OFWs hired, or 19.5 percent.
Roque emphasized that notwithstanding the worldwide crunch, the year 2008 will end as another record year for employment of OFWs overseas.
Roque affirmed that, “indeed, the distinctive global preference for our OFWs concretely indicates their productive role in averting the worst effects of the crisis affecting the world economy, assisting in staving off economic slowdown among host destinations and the local sphere.”
“As the year 2008 proceeds to 2009, we project the global OFW deployment figure to further approach the 1.5 million level, and global OFW remittances to reach $16bn to $17bn during the entire year.”
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration added that the successful deployment of more than a million OFWs globally during the year had been complemented by the new markets that opened up in Canada, Romania, Bulgaria, Dubai, Taiwan, Qatar and Australia.
Roque further cited the POEA’s report that from January to October 2008, professionals and skilled workers accounted for the vast majority, or 90 percent of the total newly hired OFWs, with those in low end skills, such as labourers, constituting the remaining 10 percent. \
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