Friday, October 21, 2005

Gov’t eyes 65,000 jobs in new program

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) expects to offset the 55,000 jobs lost from Japan’s new hiring policy with 65,000 new hires of high value and professional jobs from emerging sources and traditional markets as the agency mounts the first international labor mart in the country.

POEA deputy administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon said there are several foreign employers from about 20 countries participating in the forthcoming DOLE Labor Opportunities Program (DOLOP).

"This is the first in the history of the employment programs of the POEA that employers are coming here instead of local licensed agencies going abroad to get job orders," Dimzon said.

So far, employers from about 20 countries are participating in the DOLOP scheduled on November 911 and there are still others that are registering.

"We are looking at high value jobs," Dimzon said noting "It is high time we forget about construction workers but focus on the deployment of professionals and highly skilled workers," Dimzon said.{s:r}{s:r}{s:r}

Dimzon said that part of the POEA strategy is to "look at decent and productive jobs."

According to Dimzon, the loss from the Japan job market may be offset from jobs generation in Israel, Macau, Singapore and China, Australia, the Caribbean countries Norway, Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan and Iran.

"We have OFWs working in the hotels in the Caribbean countries," Dimzon said.

"The strategy is to strengthen hold of traditional markets and tap new and emerging markets.

The new procedure hiring permits of Korea will ensure a 200 percent increase over last year’s deployment of over 900. The new immigration requirements of Singapore for foreign workers specifically the English language proficiency test, are seen to work in favor of the Philippines and will translate to more hirings.

The special hiring program for Taiwan is expected to generate at least 100,000 production workers from the Philippines.

With increased world oil demand, Dimzon said this also translate to increased number of seafarers who will be hired to man oceangoing vessels. The deployment of seafarers is expected to continue to grow by at least 6 percent.

Dimzon further said that POEA is pushing for the hiring of Filipino workers in the supervisory levels in the huge construction projects in the Middle East countries.

For this year, the POEA expects, for the first time, to hit its target of deploying one million workers and attain a 13 percent annual growth for the next five years.

"We and the private sector will continue to achieve one million overseas jobs target annually," said POEA administrator Rosalinda Baldoz.{s:r}

Last year, there were a total of 933,588 workers deployed by POEA or 7.6 percent from 867,969 deployed in 2003. As of October 17 this year, there were 777,724 OFWs deployed by the POEA or an average daily deployment of 2,700 workers.

Last year, official figure released by the Bangko Sentral placed the remittances of the country’s 7.76 million OFWs through the formal banking system breached $8.55 billion. Estimates placed the total remittances to $12 billion inclusive those remitted through the informal nonbanking sector.(BCM)

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