According to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) there are hundreds of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Qatar are now being displaced due to a prevailing diplomatic crisis in the Middle East.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Philippine government will extend aid to the affected OFWs and help them find new work.
“The situation in Qatar seems to be getting worse. In fact, the leader of our OFW organization visited me last week and informed me about the incidents of stoppage and separation from work,” Bello said.
“For those who would like to stay [in Qatar], we would help them find new work. But for those who already wanted to go home, we would repatriate them and offer them our reintegration program.”
Bello said they are closely monitoring the conflict.
“The diplomatic [conflict in the] relations between Qatar and the Middle East countries is worsening…. In fact the leader of our OFW organization visited me last week and informed me about the incidents of stoppage of work and separation of work,” Bello added.
Labor Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad III said about 644 Filipino workers have been affected by the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Middle East countries.
“We looked at the companies where these Filipinos worked and apparently a lot of them are owned by Saudi companies. So this might be at face value a divestment of Saudi from Qatar. Until the political issues are settled there, it is always a threat for Filipinos. We are closely observing this,” Lagunzad noted.
Bello said DOLE is sending to Qatar and other countries in the Middle East this month, a team headed by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) deputy administrator Arnel Ignacio to check on the welfare and conditions of OFWs in the region.