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Europe as next jobmart for pinoys

By Johnny Dayang

The contemplated deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait, arising cases of abuse against OFWs by their employers, has raised serious concerns that could lead to a labor impasse that can impact on Philippine-Kuwait diplomatic relations.

This apprehension is not without basis, but the obtaining problem can serve as an opportunity for the two countries to adopt doable measures that will diagnose and address problems created by Kuwaiti employers.

The larger threat, however, comes from Saudi Arabia which has recently pushed for the adoption of the Nitagat or Saudization system that requires certain companies and enterprises fill their workforce with Saudi nationals.

Against this discouraging prospects, Europe, despite the much-publicized spat with Malacañang, has opened its door to Filipino skilled workers. Very recently, Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis, during a diplomatic event in Prague, announced the opening of some 1,000 slots for qualified Filipinos who stand to earn Euro dollars.

In more ways than one, this development opens Europe as an untapped region yet for Filipino workers whose industry and work habits have endeared them to employers in various countries worldwide. Europe is one of the best global labor employment centers for Filipinos.

Historically, the Czech Republic has enduring ties with the Philippines, derived from the lasting friendship between our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal and prominent Czech national, Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt. At the Prague’s Rizal Park in the City of Litomerice, stands a bust of our national hero with a plaque commemorating his visit to the country in the late 1800’s.

The Parkany Jose Rizala (Rizal Park) plaque celebrates “the memory of the true friendship of the most famous personality of the Philippines, the great Humanist Jose Rizal; and the Director of the Technical Secondary School in Litomerice, Ferdinand Blumentritt.”

Prague, the Czech capital, is also widely known in the Catholic world for the “Infant Jesus of Prague,” and the Santo Niño devotion which had its golden anniversary last month in Davao City.

The Czech Republic is also known worldwide primarily for its impressive and comprehensive system in protecting migrant workers, fair treatment in the workplace and generous benefits for labor.

Further underscoring the value of Filipino skills abroad are the recent job openings in Taiwan factories, London hospitals. Japanese hospices needing caregivers and Chinese schools needing English teachers.

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