There is no dramatic surge in job orders for health professionals in the United States, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac clarified to GMA News Online on Tuesday.
"This is a reiteration: there is no sudden rise in job orders for the US. The number of job orders available is the same as it had been in the last two years," Cacdac said in a phone interview.
He said that there was no clear way for POEA to accurately count the number of job orders from licensed recruitment agencies due to an initiative allowing agencies into the open job order system.
Agencies who win POEA's Presidential and Excellence Awards at the end of each year no longer need to declare the number of job orders they have with the agency.
Because of this, applicants must check with agencies to find out the actual number of slots they have for their desired position.
"May movement ang job offers. For example, may 200 job offers na nakalista para sa isang agency online, pero may lima na na-deploy. Ongoing siya. You still need to ask, you still need to confirm," Cacdac said.
He said the POEA was still tallying the number of Filipinos deployed to the US in 2015, but revealed that 90 percent of the 514 deployed in 2014 were health professionals.
The total number of those deployed in 2014 was significantly lower than the 745 sent out in 2013.
Unsure of the exact reasons behind the sudden drop, Cacdac guessed the depleted number was the result of the high-level competition for the low volume of jobs available for Filipinos.
"It's hard to attribute, but part of it is the limited access we have to the US job market. People still get hired, but there's a low volume of jobs and a high level of competition. You need to be highly qualified to get hired," he explained.
Even if one had the right qualifications, job hunters will need a minimum of a year to find employment while successful applicants need to work for three to five years for a green card.
Cacdac cautioned applicants to be wary of illegal recruiters and to check the validity of their offers through POEA's online job and recruiter database.
"Everyone must be careful and mindful that their job offers are from licensed recruitment agencies," he said.
Philippine Medical Association (PMA) President Atty. Leo O. Olarte told GMA News Online on Tuesday that Filipinos have no reason to fear the job market's bleak conditions, as Filipinos are still known for their abilities.
"It is internationally known that Filipino nurses are competent, compassionate & hard working. Thus, foreign employers naturally would prefer Filipino Nurses among others," Olarte said. —KBK, GMA News