Around 20,000 more Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) could lose their jobs if Taiwan doesn’t lift the freeze on hiring Filipinos, a recruitment analyst said on Thursday.
Emmanuel Geslani said that 3,000 to 4,000 workers’ contracts expire every month and might not be renewed because of the unresolved row between Taiwan and the Philippines over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino Coast Guards in Batanes in May.
“If this (dispute) goes on until December, we might see some 20,000 OFWs going jobless in Taiwan,” Geslani said.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Wednesday assured that the displaced Filipino workers in Taiwan can look forward to employment in the country.
Baldoz said almost 130,000 jobs are available locally, based on the data from the PhilJobNet, the official online job search and matching portal of the government.
The openings include plant and machine operators and assemblers with13,544 vacancies; factory workers, 6,040; engineers and technicians, 2,956; and machinists, 323.
Baldoz said there are openings in other countries such as Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Saudi Arabia for production workers and personal services.
Geslani said those countries cannot take in workers from Taiwan because there are no factories in the Middle East
“The Taiwan labor market has no acceptable alternative market in the Middle East as factory workers because there are non-existent as there are no electronic factories in the countries of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Geslani said that Malaysia’s electronic factories are not huge as Taiwan’s and therefore couldn’t hire that many OFWs.
“The only positions open (in those countries) are for household service workers or domestic workers,” he said.
At least 10,000 OFWs have not been able to renew their employment contracts in Taiwan since May.
JOHANNA M. SAMPAN