Filipino expats in UAE find new jobs amid coronavirus pandemic

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Some Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates have withdrawn their decision to be repatriated after having found jobs in the UAE, Consul General of Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes said.

Cortes explained on Sunday (Aug.09) that out of the 8,000 repatriation applicants from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, RAK, and Fujairah, “many have double submissions, some have gone home, some decided to stay on and some are already employed”.

“I am not sure though (at which sector or industry they have found work) because they would only tell us that they have found employment. They request that they be stricken off the list (for repartriation),” Mr. Cortes told Gulf Today.

Cortes also shared that on Aug. 09 of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the additional PHP5billion (US$101million) COVID19 evacuation and aid packages for distressed overseas Filipinos worldwide.

CNN Philippines quoted Philippine Labour and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III: “I have directed our Polos (Philippine Overseas Labour Offices) to accelerate the processing of the assistance so that a greater number of our OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) will benefit soonest from the aid coming from our government.”

There are 34 Polos around the globe operating under Manila’s Department of Labour and Employment (DoLE) with 24 in Asia including 13 in the Middle East, seven in Europe and three in the Americas.

The labour chief said, “Because the president loves our modern-day heroes, he is providing them with additional funds for the repatriation and assistance to our OFWs,” as quoted by government-owned Philippine News Agency.

UAE-based clinical psychologist Prof. Mardy Dizon of Cambridge for Family Counselling and Training Centre said, “The initiative can have a positive implication as it helps lessen the trauma encountered (by the affected and impacted).”

Rights Corridor managing director Froilan Malit Jr. also hailed the decision of Duterte considering the “worsening economic conditions in most destination countries.”

Malit said the additional funding “is an important step in upholding the protection of OFWs.”

He expressed hope that the Duterte Administration moves to study and implement more realistic long-term employment opportunities both in the Philippines and in the labour-receiving countries which include the continuous upscaling of knowledge and skills of all OFWs.

“The administration should mobilise our government and academic-run research institutions to better understand the current and future structure of Philippine migration governance and diplomacy approach,” Malit added.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai which collaborate with the Polos in their respective jurisdictions released a “Joint Statement” regarding the newly-approved PHP5 billion COVID-19 funding for impacted OFWs.

“The Overseas Filipino Communities around the world welcome this development as it highlights the Philippine Government’s commitment to assist all Filipinos in a crisis such as this pandemic.”

“The Embassy and the Consulate await further guidelines and instructions from the (Department of Foreign Affairs) and the DoLE in this regard.” (Source: Gulf Today)

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