GOVT  EYES  220,000  NEW  JOBS  FOR  OFWs  IN  2009

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 (STAR) Filipino jobseekers can look forward to brighter overseas employment prospects in 2009.

At least 220,000 new jobs are awaiting Filipino professionals and other highly skilled workers in various countries in the coming year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said the Philippine government has already started negotiations with various foreign governments for the opening of new labor markets.

Roque said the ongoing negotiations are part of government efforts to provide 220,000 more new overseas jobs for highly skilled Filipino workers next year.

“Negotiations are underway with representatives from Finland and France for the employment of Filipino professionals and other skilled workers,” Roque disclosed.

The labor chief said they are also holding talks with officials of Australia, where 30,000 jobs are needed in mining, health care and information technology.

“We are looking at 30,000 new jobs for Filipinos every year or a total of 300,000 in the next 10 years,” Roque said.

He added that Filipino seafarers also have the chance to work in Norway and Denmark as the Scandinavian shipping industry is in need of 13,000 maritime workers next year.

Roque said overseas Filipino workers can also look forward to job openings in some Canadian provinces with the scheduled signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with officials from Alberta this month.

“The successful implementation of the MOU would pave the way for many skilled OFWs to find better paying and more quality employment that ensures ample protection of their rights and welfare in Canada,” Roque said.

DOLE earlier formed a team to draw up regulations governing deployment of OFWs to the Western provinces of Canada.

According to Roque, talks will also start on the renewal of the agreement with Saskatchewan, which is due to expire by yearend.

Meanwhile, the local recruitment industry also reported that huge oil and mining projects in Madagascar, an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southern coast of Africa, are also in need of over a thousand OFWs.

Cherry Cleary, president of Jerphi Overseas and Trading Corp., said jobs available in Madagascar are for mechanical and quality control engineers, safety officers, labor controllers, foremen, welders, pipe fitters, electricians and construction workers. – Mayen Jaymalin

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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