Philippine labor officials will set up a registry to determine the number of Filipino workers who will be affected by Saudi Arabia’s new “Saudization” labor policy.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Monday she has ordered the registry set up in Riyadh and Manila to determine what and how many jobs are affected by the Saudization, the labor policy that gives priority to hiring Saudi nationals over foreigners.
“Kami nagpapa-setup ako ng registry ng mga papalit na maapektuhan ng Saudization both sa ating labor office sa Riyadh at National Reintegration Office natin. Malalaman natin anong klaseng skill, anong klaseng trabaho ang apektado, at gaano karami,” she said in an interview on dzBB radio.
Meanwhile, Migrante Middle East said “24/7″ hotline numbers in Saudi Arabia were set up for those who may be affected by Saudization. The numbers are 00966-564-978-012 and 00966-535921228.
Migrante said the hotlines will be part of a “Sagip Migrante” campaign that will be formally launched this Friday.
“The Aquino government should prepare for the influx of jobless OFWs by developing the economy through genuine agrarian reform program and nationalization of basic industries and get away from reliance to multinationals and transnational corporations,” Migrante Middle East coordinator John Monterona said.
KSA govt jobs may be first to be affected
Baldoz said government jobs in Saudi Arabia, including those in government-run hospitals, may be the first to be affected by Saudi’s new labor policy.
Citing initial reports, Baldoz said Saudi nationals are more likely to prefer government posts because of the higher pay and less stressful environment.
“Yan ang mas gusto pasukan ng nationals ng Saudi ever since. Kaya mas malaki ang sweldo diyan sa government offices, di kasing-stressful o hirap ng trabaho sa private companies na very crucial sa productivity,” she said.
She said the non-skilled jobs will be the first to be affected. These include gardeners, watchmen, and construction laborers.
However, Baldoz said Filipinos already working in private hospitals may not be likely to be affected.
“Hindi naman. Diyan, productivity ang pinaguusapan … kasi lalo sa health care industry, alam mo tayo natural sa atin ang maasikaso,” she said.
Baldoz insisted there are jobs available for Filipino workers affected by the Saudization policy but added they must have the needed qualifications.
“Ang ating sinasabi at matagal natin napapagusapan, isang bagay ang may trabaho at isang bagay ang magkwa-qualify ka,” she said.
For his part, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration head Carlos Cao Jr. hinted Philippine and Saudi officials may work on a “friendly solution” to the brewing problem.
“Ang ating maitutugon, between two friendly nations … ang mga bagay na ganyan mapaguusapan sa maayos na paraan. Hindi pwedeng drastically one nation will just disregard,” Cao said in an interview on dwIZ radio. – VVP, GMA News