• 20,000 OFWs to lose jobs

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    ABOUT 20,000 more Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) may lose their jobs until December if Taiwan will not lift its freeze hiring policy, a recruitment analyst said on Thursday.

    Emmanuel Geslani said that 3,000 to 4,000 workers’ contracts expire every month and these may not be renewed because of the unsolved issue between Taiwan and the Philippines.

    Last May, Taipei stopped hiring Filipino workers after a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel allegedly shot dead a Taiwanese fisherman.

    “If this (dispute) goes on until December, we might see some 20,000 OFWs going jobless in Taiwan,” Geslani said.

    Migrante International blamed President Benigno Aquino 3rd for the mass lay off of Filipino workers in Taiwan as a result of the diplomatic row between the two countries.

    “The Philippine government has its own share of fault by its own delay, if not inaction, to immediately resolve the disputes with Taiwanese government,” Migrante vice-chairman John Leonard Monterona said.

    He called on the two governments not to make Filipino workers as “collateral damage” in the unresolved dispute.

    “We could not understand why the Taiwan government resorted to freezing the hiring of OFWs in Taiwan,” he said.

    Andrew Tung Heng Lin, director of the political division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) on Wednesday said the sanctions against the Philippines will be lifted if Manila responds positively on their demands.

    Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz had said that Filipinos who will lose their jobs in Taiwan can find work here.

    She said that 130,000 jobs are available based on the data from the PhilJobNet, the official online job search and matching portal of the government.

    She added that Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are also in need of workers.

    However, Geslani said that these countries cannot accommodate workers from Taiwan because there are no factories in the Middle East.

    Johanna M. Sampan and Ritchie Horario

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