Great news, right? Except they’re not for Lebanese:
Thousands of jobs in Lebanon are already awaiting Filipino professional workers.
The leader of a Philippine-Lebanese group said their country is now in need of Filipino workers to fill up vacancies on hotel, construction and other sectors.
Are we really in need? Do we not have enough skilled workers? The speed at which the financial crisis “engulfed the Arabian Gulf” really surprised me but this revelation that we have jobs that are being left empty due to a lack of people to fill in these positions has seriously knocked me off my chair.
Kader Al Jadid, Filipino-Lebanese Friendship Community president, called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to allow the deployment of other types of Filipino workers to Lebanon.
“Thousands of waiters, carpenters, technicians and other highly skilled workers are needed in Lebanon with the projected surge of foreign tourists there,” Al Jadid said.
Excuse me? If I wanted to be served dinner by a Filipino, I’d live in Dubai (which is where I currently live). I’ve read in a local paper here how a Lebanese who used to work at a bank in Abu Dhabi was laid off and is now serving food at a Beirut restaurant. Do we honestly need foreign workers? I think we are “highly skilled” enough to work as waiters, carpenters and technicians.
But all is not lost. The Filipino labor flood may not be so imminent:
…Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said the Philippine government will not resume the deployment of workers to Lebanon until the Lebanese government complies with the new hiring policy.
Among these conditions, Roque said, is that Filipino household workers in Lebanon should receive a minimum monthly salary of US$400.
That’s more than minimum wage in Lebanon! I’d love to see the government pass that proposal. So it appears these workers who have come to ‘rescue our job surplus economy’ have priced themselves out of the market.
To my fellow Lebanese, your jobs are saved.
(Though you may need to get in touch with the Filipino-Lebanese Friendship Community, as they seem to know where all the jobs are.)
Update – March 29, 2009: Manila to lift ban on domestic workers to Lebanon