Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia are now fearing for their jobs, as several oil companies are laying off workers due to the drop of oil prices in the world market.
OFW Sonny Boy Rivera from Al Khobar said his company announced last month that they will lay off 25% of its employees. The company also said that due to the drop of oil prices in the world market, most projects were either on hold or cancelled.
Rivera said oil companies from all over the Middle East are also starting to lay off their workers.
However, many OFWs are now looking for alternative jobs instead of going home.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) admitted that there is moderate retrenchment going on, but they do not link it to the drop of oil prices in the world market due to other factors affecting oil companies in the Middle East, such as Saudization.
Despite this, DOLE is preparing should there be an employment crisis.
Laid off OFWs are advised to go to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or DOLE booth upon arriving home to be given proper help.
POEA Deputy Administrator Jesus Gabriel Domingo said the government has given them around PhP2 billion for situations like these.
An OFW will undergo free training, and they will be assisted in job-hunting in the Philippines and abroad.
Domingo said there are still available jobs in Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, and Japan. OFWs may also avail of a loan to start a business.
POEA admitted, however, they cannot match the salaries that the OFWs usually get from other countries, but they will do their best.
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