DMW to discuss labor deals with Oman, UAE in July

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) — The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Friday said it will be engaging in talks with senior labor officials from Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in July to provide more jobs to Filipinos.

DMW Secretary Susan Ople said Oman officials want to create the first-ever bilateral labor agreement with the Oman.

"Wala pa pala tayong bilateral labor agreement with Oman. Ngayon ang interest nila magkaroon ng joint committee meeting, mapag-usapan yung terms and conditions ng kontrata," Ople told reporters.

[Translation: We still don't have a bilateral labor agreement with Oman. But they are interested in having a joint committee meeting to discuss the terms and conditions of the contracts.]

She added that Oman is looking to employ workers for hotels and restaurants, other tourism industry jobs, and construction.

"May ginagawa silang tatlong free zone kaya mangangailangan sila ng maraming workers from the Philippines. Kaya gusto nila magkaroon ng bilateral labor agreement," Ople said.

[Translation: They are establishing three free zones so they need many workers from the Philippines. That's why they want to have a bilateral labor agreement.]

The DMW secretary said Oman officials did not give a specific number on how many workers they will be needing for the free zones. But she added that it could reach about a thousand, given the initial discussions.

UAE officials are also looking to hire Filipino workers through business-to-business ventures and government-to-government programs, according to Ople. She explained that the move to bring in Filipino investors is part of the country's economic diversification program.

"Gusto rin nila explore yung possibility na meron mga business companies dito who can invest sa bansa nila and they will facilitate na itong mga negosyo or mga negosyante coming from the Philippines can bring their own workers," she said.

[Translation: They want to explore the possibility of having companies here in the Philippines who can invest in them and these businesses from the Philippines can bring their own workers.]

"So ang mangyayari ang employers ay mga Pilipino pa rin but they will be coming in as investors kasi nasa expansion mode ang UAE," Ople added.

[Translation: So what will happen is that the employers are still Filipinos but they will be coming in as investors because UAE is in an expansion mode.]

Based on data from the DMW, there are over 7,000 overseas workers currently in Oman, while more than 91,000 Filipinos are employed in the UAE.

The DMW added that UAE officials also committed to helping the Philippines combat human trafficking. Officials from both sides will also look into forging a stronger deal on this matter.