Labor execs, envoys brace for Mid-East OFWs displacement


The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Friday strongly denied there is an ongoing massive retrenchment of foreign workers in the Middle East due to plunging oil prices.

The denial was issued a day after the DOLE issued a statement saying that Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has ordered all the heads of the 20 Assist Well (welfare, employment, legal, and livelihood) program centers to further improve and provide comprehensive services to the concerned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The Federation of Free Workers (FFW), however, insisted that more than one million OFWs could be displaced anytime soon.

Jose Sonny Matula, FFW president, told The Manila Times that an OFW who is also an FFW organizer in the Middle East disclosed on Friday through a private message that all ambassadors in Philippine embassies and DOLE personnel in the Middle East are busy preparing contingency plans to assist the OFWs who stand to lose their jobs.

Matula, who is also a veteran labor lawyer, refused to divulge the name of the FFW organizer for security reasons. The FFW chief said he consulted with their members in the Middle East. He said one FFW organizer informed him that Qatar Petroleum has dismissed more than 3,000 employees of different nationalities. Another company, he was told, has dismissed all its employees.

Matula’s disclosure validated The Manila Times story the other day that a massive displacement of OFWs may happen in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Last week, about 10,000 OFWs were reported to have been laid off by various companies.

This week, Baldoz said the DOLE is bracing for the return of about 7,000 OFWs who had been overstaying in South Korea since 2015.

Baldoz said DOLE is hoping that more than 450 workers will be hired by South Korea in April in line with the continuous implementation of the Employment Permit System (EPS) between the governments in Seoul and Manila.


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  1. “The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Friday strongly denied there is an ongoing massive retrenchment of foreign workers in the Middle East due to plunging oil prices.”

    Deny and deny….doesn’t save the face of the government. The reality that majority of Phils. job openings in our country stated by DOLE yellowish Trolls come from the private sectors and it does not mean they will hire OFW’s which is already over age. I am connected to world biggest oil and gas company in the middle east and surely service and project contractors will be hit of massive terminations these coming months if oil will not be back at above 35 dollars per barrel, since mega projects will be on hold. DOLE is more….”hoy gising.”

  2. These displacement of workers will happen sooner than later. Middle East for almost 3 decades rely solely in oil revenues. No tourism, no technology they became complacent that oil will never end. A new technology is now underway that uses hydrogen to run cars. Toyota and Nissan have commercially manufactures by the thousand of cars. This will hit the market in one to two years. It is called Fuel Cells. Gasoline will be obsolete. Like the mechanical watches replace by battery operated watches. That will be the effect of this new technology. That is why Middle East is dumping as much oil as possible. Oils will never be commercially use in a few years.