Qatar 'is willing to hire more Filipinos'
Manila: Qatar is looking at hiring more Filipino workers, vice-president Jejomar Binay said as the Philippine official reported on the gains of his current trip to the Gulf.
A statement released by Binay's office yesterday said the vice-president held a meeting with top government officials in Qatar and that among the matters discussed was the possibility of the country taking in more Filipino workers.
There are some 280,000 Filipinos employed in Qatar.
Binay said that his discussions with Qatar's Acting Labour Minister Nasser Bin Abdullah Al Hamaidi last Thursday touched on the possibility of the country hiring more Filipinos.
"The minister expressed his eagerness to see a greater Filipino labour presence in Qatar as it prepares to host the World Cup tournament in 2022," Binay's press statement said.
Crown Prince Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani also welcomed Binay's delegation at his offices in the Amiri Diwan.
The Crown Prince reportedly told the Philippine official that "Filipinos are always welcome in Doha."
Part of our culture
"Our doors are open to them. They are hardworking, disciplined, highly skilled and very professional, and they have become part of our culture," the Crown Prince said
The vice-president is the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers' Concerns. He reportedly also visited the Philippine School in Doha to meet with the Filipino community.
Qatar is the world's richest country per capita, at $88,233, surpassing Norway and Luxembourg.
Binay said: "Qatar could be a major source of important investments for the Philippines, and is now our third trading partner in the Middle East.
"More than that, the Qataris are highly protective of Filipino professionals, semi-skilled and domestic workers," Binay said.
At the same time, Binay also announced that 25 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) currently jailed in Qatar have been granted amnesty. The release of the 25 workers, who are in Qatari jails for various offences, followed a series of discussions between the vice-president and top government officials during his two-day visit.Binay said he has already instructed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Foreign Affairs to expedite the repatriation of the workers.