In the coming years, it is expected that the number of Overseas Filipino Workers being deployed to Middle East countries, especially in Saudi Arabia, because of the lowering prices of crude as well as the implementation of the “Saudization”, as reported by the Manila Bulletin.
“The economies of some Middle East countries especially Saudi Arabia is predicted to stay flat with lower crude oil prices and that is bad news for OFWs whose main market is Saudi Arabia,” says Emmanuel Geslani, labour recruitment, and migration consultant.
Geslani also noted that 2018 had been a bad year for OFWs because of the deployment ban of domestic helpers to Kuwait following the discover of the lifeless body of OFW Joana Demafelis.
It can be recalled that the body of Demafelis was found hidden in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait in the early months of 2018. Because of this, the issued sparked outrage among the Filipino people, more so with President Duterte who implemented the deployment ban on new hires.
Kuwait hired 60,000 HSWs in 2017, second to Saudi Arabia with 170,000 hires in 2017. By 2018, the ban was lifted and the number of hires greatly declined to only 20,000 HSWs.
Moreover, several construction and manufacturing firms in Saudi Arabia shut down due to financial loss, resulting in the repatriation of Overseas Filipino Workers in the country.
Saudization, on the other hand, is a policy that aims to prioritize the employment of Saudi nationals above foreign workers.