I originally thought, with thoughts of the U.S. that jobs would be lost to Filipinos since work visas and work contacts cannot be issued if there were Americans that can fill the position. As company’s layoff and then rehire, Americans and legal residents would fill the jobs lost. I have also heard on the news, Americans who had lost their jobs in the mass layoffs were going back to school for training in the health industry. This would defiantly hurt all the thousands of nursing graduated with dream of working in the U.S.
Well, according to the Sun Star, one of the areas of growing employment is in the seafaring industry. Well-trained and English speaking seaman and Marine engineers from the Philippines are being hired.
“The pressure to drastically reduce costs has led some companies to accelerate their staff sourcing from countries such as the Philippines, which has a large pool of comparatively cheap, English-speaking, and well qualified sea-farers. As a result, sea-farers’ deployment increased by about 20 percent in the year through November 2009 despite the decline in cargo shipping,” the report said.
Other service areas are also seeing an increase in hiring’s, mostly for the Middle East and Asia. Once business enjoying this boom is the agencies finding the personnel to fill all these positions.
There is a government organization the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), part of the Department of Labor sets up the guidelines and restrictions for employees working abroad and licenses the agencies that hire. Most employees hired by an agency is paid through the agency. With this setup, the companies that hire the personnel pay the personnel. They receive the fee from the employers, take their share as a fee, and then pay the workers.
So, as in many cases, the Filipino worker loses. They are paid lower wages than employees in the country they are working and part of their wages are withdrawn by the agency. Some agencies offer to cover all the paperwork and transportation to the country of their employment and then have to pay the costs back with interest as in a loan.
Most of these agencies are in Manila just as the POAE office. So applicants have to travel to Manila to apply to the agencies and to get their permit from the POAE. Because of this, many qualified applicants can not avail of these jobs since they cannot afford the airfare and living expenses to travel to Manila.