600,000 OFW jobs ‘unfilled, old orders’
A recruitment specialist on Sunday cautioned the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) against saying there were 600,000 jobs available in more than 100 countries for new and displaced overseas Filipino workers.
Emmanuel Geslani described the 600,000 jobs announced by POEA Administrator Carlos Cao Jr. as “bloated and old job orders” compiled through the years because the recruitment industry had been unable to fill them.
“The recruitment industry had difficulty filling those job orders because of lack of qualified manpower. If you notice, the OFWs we have been sending are rehires instead of new hires. So how could we ever fill those 600,000 overseas jobs?” Geslani said in a phone interview.
Cao had earlier disclosed preliminary OFW deployment statistics for 2010. He said private recruiters had deployed 322,198 new hires for land-based jobs in 2010, but the number of jobs filled was only 40 percent of the total job orders approved by the POEA.
On the other hand, 781,710 rehires were deployed who constituted almost 70 percent of the total land-based OFWs deployed in 2010.
“Our current OFWs are merely returning to their old jobs; we’re not sending that many newly hired OFWs at present. In 2008, the number of rehires stood at 600,000, then around 742,000 in 2009 and close to 800,000 in 2010. This means there are fewer and fewer Filipinos qualified to work abroad due to their lack of skills and experience,” Geslani said.
Geslani, former vice chair of the Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc. and a recruiter and recruitment consultant since 1983, said the government needed to invest in its OFW deployment program so the country would have competent and qualified manpower to replace aging OFWs, particularly in the Middle East.
“While our government does conduct trainings for OFWs, this isn’t enough because the trainees need to get on-the-job experience so they can qualify for jobs abroad.
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