More than 140,000 job orders or offers from Qatar are on hold as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) continues to impose a suspension of deployment of new OFWs to the Middle Eastern country.
A report by GMA News' Mark Salazar on 24 Oras on Thursday said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has put on hold all overseas employment certificates (OECs) for the 141,443 job orders while diplomatic tensions in the Middle East remains high.
"We hope that whatever triggered the severance of diplomatic ties will be dissolved as soon as possible," POEA office in charge Aristodes Ruaro said.
The government implemented the suspension following the decision of several Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia to cut ties with Qatar over accusations that it supports extremist groups, including ISIS.
The suspension, however, does not cover OFWs with existing contracts in Qatar and those who have OECs.
Ruaro, who said the average pay in Qatar is higher compared to other countries, said the World Cup that will be held there in 2022 contributed to the huge demand for Filipino workers.
"The average salary scale is even higher compared to others," he said. "They'll be hosting this World Cup, if I'm not mistaken. Of course, they will need a lot of workers."
Qatar has the ninth largest population of OFWs in the world with an estimated 240,000 Filipinos working there as of 2013, according to government data. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News