Exactly five decades since the very first batch of Overseas Filipino Workers went to the Middle East just as there was a massive oil boom in the 1970s, the region is still considered the top destination for Filipinos wanting to work abroad.
According to WorkAbroad.ph, at least 76 percent of their entire job listings were from Gulf countries, next are Asia Pacific countries as they have 12 percent and lastly is the United States at 8 percent.
Additionally, the demand for OFWs in the Middle East grew to 21 percent.
“Overseas hirers posted a total of 137,243 job listings from January to October 2018. This is up to 21 percent compared to 2017, which had 113,545,” says WorkAbroad Marketing Lead Paola Savillo.
Most of the time, Middle Eastern jobs focus in the fields of healthcare, engineers, and general workers. For Asia-Pacific countries, they are seeking to hire production workers as well as for their manufacturing industry. Lastly, for the US, jobs at restaurants and maritime workers are on demand.
Savillo also noted that those candidates with work experience had an edge among all the others.
“For skilled workers, having skills-based courses from tech-voc (technical-vocational) institutions are also highly recommended,” Savillo claims.
According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), despite the fact that there are some countries who practice nationalization, where they hire their own citizens, Filipino workers are still highly preferred by employers.
“All Middle Eastern countries have nationalization. To some degree, we can still access jobs in some companies. Despite this, most Filipino workers are still able to get jobs. They’re still the preferred workers,” says Levinson Alcantara, POEA Marketing Director.
Alcantara also said that with higher demands of OFWs, they also need to increase the protection to minimize welfare cases.