By Roy C. Mabasa
The government of the Czech Republic has announced the approval of 1,000 job openings for qualified Filipinos as part of its three-country expansion for foreign workers.
Philippine Embassy Charge d’affaires Jed Dayang said the approval was personally relayed to him by no less than Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš during a diplomatic event in Prague last week.
It was immediately followed by an official announcement from the Czech government, giving labor quota to workers from the Philippines, Mongolia, and Ukraine.
On its website, the Czech government said they are allocating 1,000 job openings for the Philippines, 1,000 for Mongolia, and up to 10,000 for Ukraine which is their main source of agricultural workers.
While the Czech government has yet to release the details of the latest labor policy, Dayang congratulated the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the Filipino community in Prague whom he described as “highly valued for their good work, good character, and for integrating well in Czech society.”
“Those are (the) good reasons why the Czech Government has decided to make it easy for more Filipinos to work in the Czech Republic. Credit goes to the Filipino community in the Czech Republic,” Dayang said in a message posted on his social media account.
Although the hiring of Filipino workers may be based on the shortage basis, Dayang, however, said the Czech government is reportedly interested to look into healthcare workers.
“Our workers here include a few skilled workers in DHL, a large portion of electronic technicians, massage therapists, English teachers, and household service workers. The 1,000 are fresh,” he said.
According to data published in August 2017, Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate in the entire European Union (EU) with only 2.9 percent as compared to the 7.7 percent of the economic powerhouse Germany.
With this development, the Czech government is also expected to beef up its staffing at their embassy in Manila as a result of the opening of job opportunities to Filipinos.
Dayang recalled that when he arrived in Prague five years ago, there were only 350 Filipinos in the Czech Republic.
“Now, there are 1,005 Filipinos in the Czech Republic. With the shortage of workers here, they are in need of foreign workers. Prime Minister Babiš told me in our meeting that he will open 1,000 work visas for Filipinos and he did,” the Philippines embassy official said.
While waiting for the details and the possible signing of a bilateral labor agreement between the two countries, Dayang warned the public not to deal with illegal recruiters.
“Isa po ito sa misyon ng ating gobyerno na isulong ang ligtas, maayos, at legal na migrasyon para sa mangagawang Pilipino sa Cheka. Babala po na mag- ingat sa illegal recruiters na di dadaan sa POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration),” he said. (This is one of the missions of the government which is to promote the safe, orderly and legal migration of Filipino workers. We warn those who will apply for these new job offers not to deal with recruiters who are not accredited by the POEA.)