DOLE: 4M overseas, local jobs await jobseekers in 2012

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 12 2012 06:50 AM | Updated as of Jan 13 2012 06:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - As many as four million local and overseas jobs will become available for Filipino jobseekers this year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday.

Labor Undersecretary Danilo Cruz said at least 1.5 million jobs are projected to be generated by the local construction industry alone and another 1.5 million vacancies for those desiring to work overseas.

Cruz said the government is mounting massive infrastructure projects in 2012 that could create a minimum of 1.5 million to as many as 2.9 million local hires this year.      

“We have big expectations in 2012 for local employment because of infrastructure projects to be funded by the government and private sector, and this could provide employment for engineers, heavy equipment operators, welders and other highly skilled workers,” he said.

Cruz estimated that various countries abroad, including in the Middle East and Asia, could hire at least 1.5 million Filipino health care and other highly skilled Filipino workers.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Cacdac said that despite the prevailing crisis in the Middle East, they still hope to deploy about 1.3 million land-based workers and about 350,000 sea-based workers this year.

“Even with the crisis, we are hopeful that we would be able to hold on to our Middle East market so we are planning some contingency measures for this market and we are also confident to retain other traditional markets like the United Arab Emirates,” Cacdac said.

“We are also looking at other markets in Asia and Australia,” he said, adding that the POEA is not coming out with a projection for the United States and Europe at this time because of the ongoing financial crisis there.

Last year, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the country posted an 8.7 percent growth in overseas employment despite the hostilities in various Middle East countries.

However, she noted that hiring of Filipino seafarers slightly declined by 1.03 percent last year as a result of the economic recession in Europe and strong competition from other markets.

“Using the average growth rate in deployment for the past two years, an increase of about 6 percent for both land and sea-based workers is projected in 2012,” Baldoz explained.

She said they expect growth to come from new hires and re-hires in neighboring countries in Asia, which recorded a 55-percent increase in hiring rate last year.