The diplomatic crisis presently affecting Qatar could result in several Filipino workers losing their jobs, Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say admitted Friday.
Interviewed during an anti-illegal recruitment summit in Pasay City, Say said a meeting between labor and foreign affairs officials on the Middle East situation revealed that at least 150,000 Egyptians may soon be expelled from Qatar.
"If these 150,000, even if we assure that only half of them employ Filipinos, whether service workers, whether skilled or highly-skilled workers, if these Egyptian employers suddenly are expelled, we will be seeing an episode again of several of our compatriots who will be left without employers," Say said.
If proven true, Say said the sudden exodus would either lead household service workers with no accommodations or, as in the case in Saudi Arabia or Libya, be taken to other countries with their employers.
"If these Egyptians suddenly go home or expelled from the country, what would happen to these household service workers?" Say said. "Salary is just a second problem, but the first problem is where are they staying?"
"We have seen what happened to the stranded employees, OFWs, in Saudi Arabia, and we are seeing the deplorable condition they are in," he added. "This is something we don't want to be repeated in Qatar."
Say said the Qatar government has also expressed reluctance in expelling Egyptian officials.
A report on Washington Post said while Egyptians in Qatar fear backlash from the conflict, Egyptian officials have claimed that the crisis has yet to affect the 300,000 Egyptian nationals who work in Qatar.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has put on hold the overseas employment certificates (OECs) for the 141,443 job orders from Qatar following the suspension of deployment of OFWs.