Saudi hiring more Pinoy nurses

MANILA, MARCH 10, 2008 (STAR) By Mayen Jaymalin – Saudi Arabia will hire more Filipino nurses, engineers and other highly skilled workers, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported yesterday. POEA chief Rosalinda Baldoz bared that Saudi officials have arrived in the country to recruit Filipino workers. Baldoz said Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) officials are conducting interviews until Wednesday of nurses applying for jobs in the oil-rich Kingdom.

“Qualified applicants can register at the POEA for immediate endorsement to the Saudi Recruitment Office,” Baldoz said while noting that the Saudi employers are willing to hire even those without experience in hospital work here.

Baldoz said the MOH is the top employer of Filipino nurses in Saudi Arabia.

She said Filipino nurses working in Saudi Arabia will get salary increases ranging from 20 percent to 60 percent of their current salary starting next week.

The MOH recently approved the salary hike effective March 19 depending on the area of specialization of the Filipino nurses, Baldoz said.

The current salary of nurses in Saudi hospitals ranges from 2,250 Saudi real to P4,000 Saudi real.

“The salary hike which was only granted to Filipino nurses shows the continued preference of Saudi employers for Filipino nurses,” Baldoz said.

Meanwhile, the local recruitment industry also reported that Saudi is projected to hire more engineers and architects in the next five years as the Kingdom starts to construct four super cities.

Saudi Arabia which is the largest oil-producing country in the world will construct four super cities in the next five years to spur urban growth and this would be additional job prospects for Filipinos.

Representatives of a prestigious Saudi firm have arrived in the country to recruit professional and other highly-skilled workers for deployment to their country.

The Riyadh-based architectural firm wants to recruit architectural designers, structural and electrical engineers together with CAD operators for its numerous projects in the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Jordanian labor officials will soon arrive in the country to forge an agreement with the POEA on the possible lifting of the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Jordan.

In a radio interview, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Marianito Roque said he and Jordanian Labor Secretary Bassem al Salem agreed that it is time to change certain procedures and update the 1988 bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Labor Matters to reflect the current conditions.

The Philippines banned the deployment of OFWs to Jordan since Jan. 21, 2008, after Filipino workers escaped from their abusive employers who refused to pay their salaries and also maltreated the workers.

Roque said despite the ban many undocumented OFWs still find work in Jordan.

He said the Jordanian government issues work permits even to Filipinos that only have tourist visas. – With Helen Flores

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