500 OFWs lose jobs in Qatar


Posted at Feb 14 2016 03:12 PM

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MANILA -- Over 500 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were retrenched from government-run firms in Qatar.

Speaking to DZMM, Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Wilfredo Santos said Sunday that most of these OFWs are aged 55 and up.

They were given a two-month notice of termination to find new jobs, Santos said.

Santos added that 22 Filipino nurses were also laid off from healthcare centers operated by the Qatari government.

But he clarified that OFWs in Qatar were not directly affected by the slumping prices of petroleum products. He pointed out that Qatar does not depend on the oil industry because it is a producer of natural gas.

"Hindi naman masyadong apektado ang mga kababayan natin dito sapagkat ang income ng Qatar ay hindi dependent mostly sa oil. Qatar is also a producer of natural gas and the largest producer of natural gas for the past year," Santos said.

The ambassador also denied reports of mass retrenchment from private companies in Qatar.

"Wala namang mass lay-off ng ating mga kababayan na nagtatrabaho sa mga private companies. Most of those who were laid off are working for government owned and controlled corporation," he said.

He added that job orders remain high for skilled workers including architects, engineers, pharmacists and healthcare professionals.

Some 200,000 Filipinos are currently employed in Qatar.

- dzMM, 14 February 2016