DOLE eyes limiting number of skilled workers sent abroad to address local shortage
The government is mulling the possibility of reducing the number of skilled workers being deployed to abroad to address a local shortage of manpower, JP Soriano reported on 24 Oras on Wednesday.
"We are studying the possibility of decreasing the number of deployment para hindi naman ma-affected yung ating local demand," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in the report.
The report said a policy statement will be issued to mandate the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to decrease the number of skilled workers deployed to the Middle East.
"There's apparently a shortage of manpower. We always need crane operators, welders, masons, carpenters," JJ Atencio, president and CEO of mass housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc., said.
Johnny Asuncion, a training supervisor at the Quezon City branch of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), concurred and said local companies are constantly searching for electricians.
"Marami na kasi yung local companies na talagang naghahanap na rin talaga ng mga electricians dito sa atin," Asuncion, whose branch trains 400 workers every year, said.
Local companies have partnered with TESDA to employ graduates though most workers wish to work abroad due to higher salaries.
This need for higher wages, Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI) fears, may encourage workers to resort to illegal recruitment once the government limits the number of skilled workers to be sent overseas.
According to Elsa Villa, the president of the association of accredited recruitment agencies, skilled workers command an "above average salary abroad — $500-$800/month for civil workers" while heavy equipment drivers net $700 to $1,000 a month. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News