The Philippine government is fully prepared in helping the more than one million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who would be displaced in the Middle East and South Korea.
This was assured by Gerry Rubio, head of the Department of Labor and Employment Media and External Relations Center, saying the DOLE has a “feasible plan” to ensure that the OFWs who would be retrenched abroad could get jobs upon their return to the country.
The feasible plan is intended for the 10,000 OFWs from the Middle East who reportedly have been retrenched as a result of a huge reduction in the price of oil, the 1.5 OFWs in the Saudi Arabia who are expected to be jobless for the same reason and the 7,000 OFWs in South Korea who had been asked by DOLE to come home instead of illegally staying in that country.
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz is hoping that Seoul would hire more than 450 OFWs starting April based on the next batch under the Employment Permit System (EPS) of South Korea.
The more than 450 workers would be the replacement of 7,000 OFWs who have been overstaying in South Korea and therefore staying illegally as of 2015.
The 7,000 OFWs are part of the more than 45,000 Filipinos working in South Korea under the EPS.
The EPS with South Korea started in 2004, when Baldoz was the chief of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Rubio said the feasible plan was based on Baldoz’s order that will ensure that the jobless OFWs would be employed once they decided to return to the Philippines for various reasons.
When checked, the plan entitled Assist Well Program (Assist Welfare, Employment, Livelihood and Legal Program) was a general plan of the DOLE for the OFWs who will become jobless in cases of “emergency situations” such as civil wars, epidemics and related incidents.
It contains guidelines on getting jobs, livelihood support, legal assistance, airport assistance, stress debriefing and other concerns.
Rubio said the feasible plan is a concrete proof that the DOLE is not remiss in its job of protecting the labor sector.
He, however, was not sure if the jobs would be regular and pay “good” monthly salary.
The DOLE had created more than 300,000 jobs in the previous years but Rubio admitted to The Manila Times that they were all contractual with low salary.