Jobs await Pinoys in Italy despite crisis

By DANNY BUENAFE, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau chief, Italy

Posted at Dec 15 2008 12:37 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2008 12:57 AM

Despite the global financial crunch, there are jobs awaiting Filipinos in Italy possibly next year.

This is what the Italian Honorary Consul of the Philippine Consulate in Florence is pushing for.

Dr. Fabio Fanfani said Filipinos should not concentrate on domestic work alone in applying for jobs in Italy.

Almost 90 percent of Filipino workers in Italy are doing household work.

Fanfani believes there is a big demand for jobs in the medical sector like caregivers, chefs, auto mechanics, IT programmers, bank and hotel workers.

Compared to the United States which is facing an economic slowdown, Fanfani explained that Filipino workers have better work opportunities in Italy.

“In our country, we pay in Euro and its better for Filipino people because the dollar is down,” Fanfani said.

A Filipina, Divinia Capalad, is councilor representative for migrant workers in Florence. Capalad led in the enactment of a law, which recognizes Filipino professional workers in Italy.

“Pinasa ko na din ang proposal na iyan na kilalanin iyong higher educational level natin. Iyong mga nakapag-trabaho ng may pantay na karapatan bilang doon sa propesyon natin,” Capalad said.

To be given priority in the hiring of new jobs are relatives of overseas Filipino workers who are already working in Italy.

A new policy governing Flussi, or direct hire will be finalized soon aimed at simplifying the rules for Italy-based OFWs wanting to hire their relatives back home.

In the meantime, Fanfani is set to lead an Italian delegation to Manila and Cebu by February or March next year to open up trade and job opportunities as part of a tourism exchange.