Saudi Arabia Decreases Demands for OFWs, Implements Saudization Policy Banning Foreign Workers in 12 Sectors
For many decades, Saudi Arabia has been the frequent destination of OFWs going abroad. However, Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a non-government organization helping distressed overseas workers suggested that Filipinos be prepared for the Saudization policy which Saudi Minister had recently announced, banning foreign workers among its 12 sectors in retail and sales.
In a news reported by ABS-CBN News, the Saudization policy will take effect on September 11, 2018, which will stop hiring foreign workers including the Filipinos in car and motorbike showrooms, ready-made clothes, home and office furniture stores and home appliances and utensils store.
On the other hand, effective November 9, foreign workers will also be banned in electronic stores such as watches and clock store and optics stores. And on January 7, 2019, they will be banned in medical and equipment stores, hardware, carpet selling stores and sweet shops.
Aside from Saudi, Ople said some countries in the Middle East had started the same policy just like Oman who had started their 6-month ban among the expatriates.
But in the midst of the risk that the Saudization policy may bring to the Filipinos, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through Sec. Silvestre Bello III expressed confidence that returning OFWs will have their jobs because of the Philippine government’s “Build, build, build” program under Duterte administration. Aside from the program, Bello III assured that there are livelihood programs to help the OFWs.
Meanwhile, Ople fears that returning OFWs will have to share job opportunities with the new graduates each year thus, leaving fewer opportunities for them. And to be able to be at par with their skills, they believe that talks with the private sectors should be made by the government so training may be provided to the OFWs to equip them with the skills they much needed to become competitive.
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