37,000 jobs await Filipinos in Qatar, Malacañang says

TWENTY-TWO of Qatar’s largest companies will be hiring Filipinos starting next month to fill up 37,000 positions in the energy, transport and construction sectors, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said yesterday.

He said the companies’ chief executives told President Arroyo of their plan to hire Filipinos on Saturday, a day after she left Manila for an official visit, when she treated them to lunch.

“They told the President that they preferred to hire Filipinos because they were more efficient and skilled,” said Dureza, who failed to accompany Mrs. Arroyo to Doha because of conjunctivitis.

He said Mrs. Arroyo may lift the Philippines’ ban on the deployment of workers to Iraq, Lebanon and Nigeria to take advantage of the job opportunities available in those countries.

“The President has directed Ambassador [Roy] Cimatu to determine if we can resume deployment to Iraq, Lebanon and Nigeria by March,” he said.

About 15,000 Filipinos, all of them undocumented, work in US military bases in Iraq and earn an average of $800 a month.

The Philippines stopped deploying workers to Lebanon in 2006 following Israel’s war with Hezbollah militants.

But some 45,000 Filipinos have since gone there to work illegally, joining 25,000 of their countrymen who had refused to leave despite the war, according to Joseph Assad, Lebanon’s honorary consul to Manila. [Continue Reading...]

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