Palace official says government closely monitoring situation of OFWs in Qatar

By , on January 31, 2016


The Malacañang Palace (Facebook photo)
The Malacañang Palace (Facebook photo)

MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Sunday the government is closely monitoring the situation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Qatar following the implementation of a new labor policy on education requirements in that country.

Qatar’s Supreme Education Council has required a 12-year basic education, or a total of 16 years of education for the educational qualifications of foreign workers to be able to registered as professionals.

The new policy would affect around 12,000 Filipino engineers and architects, who cannot register with Qatar’s Urban Planning and Development Authority (UPDA) because they only have 10 years of basic education.

Coloma has assured that the government is closely monitoring the situation of OFWs not only in Qatar but all over the world.

“Makatitiyak ang ating mga kababayan na hindi lamang sa Qatar kung hindi sa iba pang lugar na patuloy na naghahanda at naglalatag ang ating pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) ng mga kaukulang hakbang para tiyakin ‘yung kanilang kapakanan,” Coloma said in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan.

He said he was informed by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz that representatives from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) are scheduled to meet with Qatari officials to discuss the matter.

“Ayon po kay Secretary Baldoz ay nakatakdang makipagpulong sa Minister of Education ng Qatar at sa Qatar Supreme Education Council ang ating mga senior official, kabilang na si CHED Chairperson Secretary Patricia Licuanan at ang acting Chairperson ng Professional Regulation Commission Angeline Chua Chiaco, hinggil sa usaping ito upang maihain sa mga kinatawan ng Qatar ang posisyon ng ating pamahalaan na nagbibigay-suporta sa ating mga overseas Filipino workers,” said Coloma.

“Ganunpaman, nagpahayag ng kumpiyansa si Secretary Baldoz na ang ating mga overseas Filipino workers, partikular na ang mga inhinyero at arkitekto, ay hindi naman seryosong maaapektuhan o madi-displace ng bagong patakaran dahil kung papansinsin natin, nagkaroon ng pagtaas pa sa pangangailangan ng Qatar para sa serbisyo ng ating mga manggagawa. Mula sa bilang na 85,000 noong 2014, ito ay tumaas na sa mahigit 104,000 in 2015, at hanggang sa kasalukuyan, ang ating Department of Labor and Employment ay hindi pa nakakatanggap ng ulat hinggil sa displacement ng ating mga manggagawa dahil sa bagong patakaran nito,” he added.

Last year, the Philippines began implementing the K-to-12 educational system, which is the recognized standard for students and professionals globally.

“Kaya nga masigasig ang ating pamahalaan sa pagpapatupad ng K-to-12 program, upang maipantay ang ating mga pamantayan o standard at ang ating mga kuwalipikasyon doon sa pandaigdigang pamantayan. Kilalanin natin na tayo ay kumikilos sa isang global economy at kailangang umayon ‘yung ating mga patakaran at pamantayan doon sa ipinaiiral sa ibang bansa para manatili tayong maging aktibong kalahok sa global economy,” Coloma explained.