What displaced OFWs can do to recover from job loss

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MANILA – With the continuous decline in oil prices and ongoing conflict between different countries in West Asia, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is offering displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFW) with job opportunities in the Philippines.

Speaking to ANC’s “On The Money,” Usec. Nicon Fameronag said the government is expecting more OFWs to come home, primarily because of the drop in oil prices and the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The most vulnerable among OFWs are the low-skilled workers, or domestic helpers, cleaners, and clerks, among others.

According to Fameronag, there are around 400,000 low-skill job workers abroad.

“In crisis situations before, the low-skill jobs workers are the first who are potentially being affected,” he added.

Fameronag also said that they have conducted a series of seminars for OFWs to equip them with the knowledge they need even before they leave the country.

“All of these trainings and orientations that we call, these are very flexible. We can exclude a topic, for example, which is very necessary for the proliferation of health problems, like Zika,” he said.

“There is a room for our modules to adapt to the situation that is necessary for our OFWs,” Fameronag added.

In case an OFW decides to go back home, either by choice or because he or she is displaced, the government has an office to attend to their needs.

“We have an office called national reintegration center for OFWs. It’s an attached agency of the Department of Labor. It is headed by an executive director. It’s mandate is to manage the coming home of all OFWs of all times, even the displaced ones, even the undocumented one, even the illegally recruited one,” Fameronag said.

DOLE, in cooperation with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) also conducts a series of financial seminars for OFWs planning on going into business, or expanding an existing business.

Those professionals who opted to leave the country for a different job are also encouraged to go back.

DOLE’s “Sa Pinas, ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir,” for example, is a program designed specifically for domestic workers who are licensed teachers.

DOLE is also working with the Department of Health (DOH) to provide employment for displaced Filipino nurses worling abroad.

“The Department of Health (DOH) has a deployment program for nurses, and OFWs who are nurses, who are displaced abroad for whatever reason, can take advantage of this opportunity being offered by the Department of Health as nurses,” Fameronag said.

According to Fameronag, OFWs who are planning to go back to the Philippines for good should register themselves at government offices to avail of these services.

“If you’re coming home, be sure that you pass by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office near you. This is our posts abroad, 36 of them. If you fail, if you don’t go there, don’t worry. At the airport, we have an office, it’s the Labor Assistance Center. We’ll catch you there. If you are still at the airport and we cannot catch you and register you as an OFW coming home, we now have 20 Assist Well centers nationwide. You register yourself, that’s where we can help you,” he said.

-photo from Rappler.com

– from ABS-CBN.com

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