Philippines prepares for 300,000 jobless overseas workers returning home

The Philippine government is bracing for the return of an expected 300,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who lost their job abroad as the coronavirus pandemic keeps battering economies around the globe.

According to Bloomberg News, the government is offering free programmes to reskill these workers – many of them caretakers, construction workers, maids and sailors – for jobs such as call center agents, teachers and contact tracers for Covid-19 infections.

More than 5,000 returnees have already applied for the training, with healthcare, technology and tourism courses being the top choices.

But the situation is not so easy.

“Returning workers will have to compete with local job seekers,” Dominique Rubia-Tutay, director of the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment, told the agency.

Economists are also in doubt whether government support for displaced OFWs was sufficient to offset the loss of income they earned abroad.

Important contributor to the GDP

OFWs are an important factor for the Philippine economy as they used to be sending a huge amount of remittances back home. In 2019, the volume was at a record high of $33.5 billion. In that year, personal remittances, which boost household income and consumption at home, accounted for 9.3 per cent of gross domestic product, data from the Philippine central bank shows.

However, due to the coronavirus crisis and related job losses among OFWs, remittances have dropped by close to 20 per cent this year so far. As these flows evaporate, investors and rating agencies are likely to become increasingly concerned about the Philippines current account deficit and the stability of its currency, economists noted.

In a new report, the Asian Development Bank said it expected a $109-billion drop in global remittances this year as the pandemic keeps devastating jobs and incomes all over the world. Asia could see roughly a fifth of its normal remittance inflows, representing a $54.3-billion drop.



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The Philippine government is bracing for the return of an expected 300,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who lost their job abroad as the coronavirus pandemic keeps battering economies around the globe. According to Bloomberg News, the government is offering free programmes to reskill these workers – many of them caretakers, construction workers, maids and sailors – for jobs such as call center agents, teachers and contact tracers for Covid-19 infections. More than 5,000 returnees have already applied for the training, with healthcare, technology and tourism courses being the top choices. But the situation is not so easy. “Returning workers will...

The Philippine government is bracing for the return of an expected 300,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who lost their job abroad as the coronavirus pandemic keeps battering economies around the globe.

According to Bloomberg News, the government is offering free programmes to reskill these workers – many of them caretakers, construction workers, maids and sailors – for jobs such as call center agents, teachers and contact tracers for Covid-19 infections.

More than 5,000 returnees have already applied for the training, with healthcare, technology and tourism courses being the top choices.

But the situation is not so easy.

“Returning workers will have to compete with local job seekers,” Dominique Rubia-Tutay, director of the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment, told the agency.

Economists are also in doubt whether government support for displaced OFWs was sufficient to offset the loss of income they earned abroad.

Important contributor to the GDP

OFWs are an important factor for the Philippine economy as they used to be sending a huge amount of remittances back home. In 2019, the volume was at a record high of $33.5 billion. In that year, personal remittances, which boost household income and consumption at home, accounted for 9.3 per cent of gross domestic product, data from the Philippine central bank shows.

However, due to the coronavirus crisis and related job losses among OFWs, remittances have dropped by close to 20 per cent this year so far. As these flows evaporate, investors and rating agencies are likely to become increasingly concerned about the Philippines current account deficit and the stability of its currency, economists noted.

In a new report, the Asian Development Bank said it expected a $109-billion drop in global remittances this year as the pandemic keeps devastating jobs and incomes all over the world. Asia could see roughly a fifth of its normal remittance inflows, representing a $54.3-billion drop.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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