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ME, Asia to create 1.5m jobs for Filipinos in 2012

Despite Middle East crisis, Philippines plans 'contingency' measures

The UAE remains an important employment market for skilled Filipino workers.
The UAE remains an important employment market for skilled Filipino workers.

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The Middle East and Asia could hire at least 1.5m highly-skilled Filipino workers in 2012, according to Philippines Labour Undersecretary Danilo Cruz.

In total, as many as four million local and overseas jobs are expected to become available for Filipino job seekers this year, reports the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday.

Cruz said at least 1.5m jobs are projected to be generated by the local construction industry alone, and another 1.5m vacancies for those desiring to work overseas.

Cruz said the government was mounting massive infrastructure projects in 2012 that could create a minimum of 1.5m, up to 2.9m, local hires this year.

“We have big expectations in 2012 for local employment because of infrastructure projects to be funded by the government and private sector, and this could provide employment for engineers, heavy equipment operators, welders and other highly-skilled workers,” he said.

Cruz estimated that various countries abroad, including in the Middle East and Asia, could hire at least 1.5m Filipino healthcare and other highly-skilled workers.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Cacdac said that, despite the prevailing crisis in the Middle East, they still hope to deploy about 1.3m land-based workers and about 350,000 sea-based workers this year.

“Even with the crisis, we are hopeful that we would be able to hold on to our Middle East market, so we are planning some contingency measures for this market. We are also confident to retain other traditional markets like the UAE,” said Cacdac.

“We are also looking at other markets in Asia and Australia,” he said, adding that the POEA had delayed its US and European forecast due to the ongoing financial crisis.

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