MANILA -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will open up more jobs to allow Filipinos working abroad to go home and practice their profession.
Based on the records of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), 160,000 Filipino domestic workers left the country to work abroad in 2013.
The most popular destination for domestic workers are Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In an interview on radio DZMM, DOLE director Nicon Fameronag said the move is part of the government's goal to prevent professionals like teachers and others from leaving the country to work as domestic helpers.
"Kukuha sila ng exam at ang tangi lamang kondisyon ng DepEd is that kung tatlo o hanggang limang taon silang hindi na nakakapagturo, magte-take lang sila ng refresher course," Fameronag said.
The director added that the Department of Education (DepEd) will prioritize teachers who are working as domestic helpers in Hong Kong for the 39,000 teaching positions that will be available next year because of the K-12 program.
Fameronag also said the POEA and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have already identified jobs available for Filipino domestic helpers.
"Ilalatag 'yung mga training options sa ating mga domestic workers at doon pipili sila," added POEA administrator Hans Cacdac.
The DOLE and POEA will first implement this "career pathing" program for workers in Hong Kong, which will also be implemented for workers in UAE.
Jobs will also be available for other professionals.
"Pupunta ang TESDA, ipo-profile ang mga household service worker kung ano 'yung kanilang educational attainment, skills," Fameronag explained.
Despite the difference in the amount of salary that will be given for workers who will be willing to go back to the country, Fameronag believes these workers will choose to go back for their families.
"Sumusweldo ka ng P30,000 sa abroad tapos ang sweldo mo dito sa Pilipinas ay P15,000. I-assign mo 'yung P15,000 na balanse sa pagiging kapiling ng iyong anak, magagabayan mo ang paglaki, kasama mo ang asawa mo tapos nandito ka sa bansa. 'Yung money equivalent nun, sapat na," he said.
He added that they are also in talks with foreign governments to ensure the safety of Filipino domestic helpers. -- report from Desserie Dionio, DZMM