Wednesday, November 21, 2007

OFWs In-Demand in Global Arena

Philippines is the main source of man power that supplies to the different parts of the world.

Thus, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) dynamism in managing an international migration program help the modern skilled worker find their jobs overseas. They make sure that they are deploying qualified and skilled overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). By setting a minimum standard, foreign employer are sure of the capability of each OFWs.

The POEA has three ways on how a foreign employer can hire an OFW, first, through POEA license agency, there are about 1,000 land based agencies, and some of it is marine agencies, who manage the recruitment for the seafarers. Second through government, it is a government to government hiring where clients are way back before POEA. And the third one is through direct hiring system.

The hiring system which is consists of verification of documents and the registration of the verified documents was also made by the POEA. Verification process is done at the Philippine embassy and is conducted by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) headed by the Labor Attaché. What comes out of the verification process will be verified with special power of attorney, master employment, a contract manpower request credential of the company with valid business license or commercial business certificate. If there’s already designated local agency, special power of attorney that has verified, the documents will go to the agency and submit it to the POEA, this process is called the registration of verified documents.

According to the “World Development Report” Filipinos are considered one of the best and most sought workers. They have the commitment to work, caring attitude, versatile and they can easily adapt to the culture and environment of the host country. They are highly trainable, educated and literate, can speak and understand English or even other foreign language.

Based on the work force report of the Department of Labor and Employment Labor Opportunities, the employment of the OFWs from 2001 up to 2005 continues to rise. There are about or more 2 million OFWs all over the world, which shows a great demand for Filipino in the global arena.

OFWs are remarkable as teachers, health care and medical workers, service workers, seafarers, in construction jobs and technical and professional tasks.

Asia is the top destination of newly hires OFWs, with 132, 729 in 2003 and 119, 180 in 2004, while 133, 880 in 2003 and 136, 107 in 2004 of re-hires OFWs. Second is Middle East with 138, 021 in 2003 new hires OFWs and 100, 826 in 2004, while 214, 293 in 2003 new hires, 184, 738 re-hires in 2004. Third is Europe with 4, 973 in 2003 4, 615 in new hires in 2004, 50,143 re hires in 2003 and 33,366 in 2004. Fourth destination is America, with 5, 445 in 2003 and 4, 316 in 2004 new hires and 6, 247 in 2003 and 6, 733 in 2004 re-hires OFWs, and there are more on different part of the world. The total land based OFWs is 284, 912 in 2003 and 279, 565 in 2004 are new hires and 419, 674 in 2003 and 372, 373 in 2004 are re-hires.

Philippines continue to be the top source of manpower not only land based, but also for ships all over the world, dominating 20 percent of the world’s fleet. Because of the demand in the seafarers, Philippines acceded to the White List of the International Maritime Organization for continuous compliance to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping Convention of 1995.

At the same time the human resource development (HRD) initiatives also helps the OFWs become competitive. They prepare the workers for the labor market. They build competencies through skills-to-work trainings, company-based training, assessment/certification, multi-skill, flexibility, competency-based training, internal reforms in the education system, national qualifications framework, building character that makes the Filipino distinct, resource mobilization/financing, government and industry cooperation, international benchmarking of standards, international benchmarking and mutual recognition of skills and qualifications.

Philippine HRD continue sustaining the competitiveness of the Filipino workers in the global arena and ensuring quick response to the specialized labor requirements of the new and emerging markets.

OFWs are top of the line, wherever and whenever they arrive, you’ve got only the best.

This article was first published in on January 10, 2006.

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