U.S.  MARKET  NOT  TOO  BRIGHT  FOR  PINOY  NURSES

MANILA, DECEMBER 26, 2007
(STAR) By Mayen Jaymalin - Filipino nurses aspiring to work in the United States may have to look elsewhere for opportunities.

This as the local recruitment industry reported yesterday that employment prospects in the United States may not be too bright for Filipino nurses in the coming year.

Despite the growing demand, the United States is likely to hire only a limited number of Filipina nurses in the next two years, according to recruitment industry leaders.

“While there is a demand for foreign nurses, the US does not hire more than 500 Filipina nurses in a year and we expect lesser quota in 2008 because of the recession and prevailing political situation there,” recruitment leader Lito Soriano said.

According to Soriano, the slump in the hiring of Filipino nurses in the US is not expected to ease in the next two years.

Soriano also noted that for the past years, the US has been hiring more Indian nurses than Filipino nurses.

“Indians have easier access than Filipinos because the US considers Filipino workers as a security risk,” he explained.

Government records have shown a 65 percent growth in the number of Filipinos who are trying to seek employment in the US.

At this time, Soriano said Filipino nurses aspiring to work in the US need to wait at least 24 months, while those going to other countries can be deployed in less than six months.

He advised Filipino nurses to seek employment in Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and other countries where they can be hired and deployed immediately.

Based on data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Soriano said an average of 5,000 Filipino nurses are deployed annually to Saudi Arabia compared to only 500 in the US.

“Workers have easier access to other countries than the US so I suggest that they look at other employment opportunities because they can already be earning instead of just waiting to be employed in the US,” Soriano said.

Meanwhile, local recruitment leaders said fewer overseas jobs were generated this year even if the government reached its annual target of one million overseas deployment.

Recruitment leaders noted that based on POEA data, majority of those deployed overseas this year were rehires or returning workers.

The number of re-hires among land-based workers increased to 477,262 from 453,643 a year ago.

“The computation does not reflect the arrival of over 60,000 or more OFWs who have arrived for the Christmas holidays and who will be processed by the POEA as re-hires,” recruitment leaders said.

On the other hand, deployment of new hires dropped this year mainly due to a decline in the number of domestic helpers hired abroad, particularly in the Middle East.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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