Dubai reopens labor market to Filipino workers

THE Emirates of Dubai, one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has again opened its labor market to thousands of Filipino workers in the retail, health care and service sectors as its economy continues to improve amid the easing of restrictions in the Philippines and elsewhere around the world.

In a report to Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)-Dubai said that there were at least 600 job opportunities at the Dubai Duty Free Shops, which temporarily closed down at the height of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.

POLO-Dubai Labor Attaché John Rio Bautista said that these duty free stores have again started their operations that would pave the way for the re-hiring of 600 Filipino workers who lost their jobs when heightened restrictions were placed on air travel as the world struggled to contain the spread of the virus.

“During the pandemic, Dubai Duty Free needed to layoff some workers. But with the revival of the economy here, the management reached out to us and we have a special facilitation for them. More than 600 Filipino workers will be coming back and their salaries are competitive. Every week we process not less than 100 contracts for OFWs who will be re-hired,” said Bautista.

Aside from opportunities in the retail sector, Bautista said employers in the health sector have also expressed interest to hire Filipino health professionals.

For household service workers (HSWs), more than 8,000 job orders have been verified by POLO and from 6,000 to 7,000 HSWs have arrived in Dubai.

“The initial implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the Philippines and UAE is really fruitful. The benefits for our HSWs, as instructed by President [Rodrigo] Duterte, are stated in the comprehensive employment contract. For instance, is the provision of the minimum wage amounting to 1,500 Dirhams,” the Labor Attaché said.

Bautista added that since the implementation of the accord, distressed Filipinos housed at the shelter were also down to about 10.

Bello welcomed the good news shared by POLO Dubai even as he reminded overseas jobseekers to go through the proper process and to visit the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s website to verify the legitimacy of job offers.

Meanwhile, with the inclusion of UAE in the countries under the “green list”, POLO Dubai is seeing a rise in the number of OFWs who want to go home in time for the Christmas season.

Bautista said the POLO processes documents of around 200 OFWs

daily who will go back to the Philippines.

“On a daily basis, we process 200 contract verifications. This is aside from the Balik Manggagawa or those who will come back to the same employer. They do not need to go personally at the POLO for contract verification. They only need to visit the POEA online portal,” said the Labor Attaché.

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