Thousands of skilled overseas Filipino workers (OFW) are expected to be employed in Australia next year with the scheduled signing of a labor agreement next month, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said Sunday.

Roque said he would flying to Australia on January to sign the agreement for the hiring of thousands of Filipino professionals.

He said the agreement that would be inked with Southern Australia would open good quality and high-paying jobs to Filipino workers.

“Those who would qualify for the jobs would get at least $4,000 monthly salary and there would be no placement fee,” Roque said.

The government had earlier reported that Australia is expected to hire about 300,000 Filipino workers in the next three to five years.

Besides Australia , Roque said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is also exploring possible new markets for Filipino professional workers.

He said Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East are expected to hire the most number of skilled Filipino workers, including engineers, construction and hotel workers.

But local recruitment agencies said the expected passage of the amended Migrant Workers Act may lead to downtrend in hiring of OFWs in 2010.

Lito Soriano, a recruitment consultant, said the proposed law approved by the bicameral committee mandates that the country would deploy workers only to countries with existing bilateral agreements with the Philippines. Only 14 out of 194 nations have bilateral relations with the Philippines.

Likewise, recruitment leaders reported that the recent decision of Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to postpone the implementation of the agreement on the establishment of a US military facility in Okinawa may also imperil the hiring of more OFWs in the coming year.

The Philippine government is hoping to capture at least 20,000 jobs for Filipino construction workers in Japan with the start of the construction of the US facility there.

Source: www.gmanews.tv

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