Number of OFWs Expected To Decline Due To Middle East Oil Crisis

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According to a recent report published by the Manila Bulletin, the number of OFWs in the Middle East is expected to go down following the oil price drop in the global market.

Actually, the recruitment sectors have even expressed serious concern regarding the subject and they are encouraging the government to come up with a new program for OFWs who may found themselves jobless in the near future.

Loreto “Lito” Soriano, president of the LBS Recruitment Solutions Corp. revealed that they are predicting a lower number of OFW deployment in the Middle East until the month of June – or until the bad trend in oil price continues.

As a result, several Arab countries have decided to postpone infrastructure projects, leading the companies to cut cost at the same time. Although Soriano mentioned that deployment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) seems stable for now, they have noticed that the number of KSA-based employers interviewing applicants have already shown signs of decrease.

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Presently, KSA is the top destination for Filipino workers headed to the Middle East. Data gathered from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) estimate that there are about 2 million OFWs in KSA and several millions more scattered in other Middle Eastern countries. Majority of those who will be directly affected by the decline are those who are working in the oil and construction industry.

Susan Ople, president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, showed support for the idea that the government should come up with a contingency plan to address the problem. She expressed concern particularly for those who might be displaced but does not meet the qualifications that will enable them to take advantage of the government’s reintegration program. Besides, most of the packages offered in the country have to do with household service workers.

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