Fact: Filipinos can work anywhere in the problem. Apparently, if you go to the usual country destinations like Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and UAE, then you might find yourself fighting for a spot to seek greener pastures. Competition is high because these usual spots are the most common countries aspiring OFWs will apply to. If you want to boost your chances of working overseas, then you should consider going to the “less popular” ones.
In that case, say hello to Bahrain.
There are many job opportunities available for Filipinos. You can find jobs in the medical and health industry (nurse, caregivers), construction, and even in corporate world (administrative jobs, sales and marketing). More importantly, Bahrain is an open economy and foreign workers get to enjoy lower taxes. This could be the reason why you will find 60,000 Filipinos and seldom hear news about OFWs being maltreated.
Interested? Here’s what you need to know about Bahrain first before you apply:
The Kingdom of Bahrain, which name means “two seas,” is one of the six nations that constitute the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is ruled by a Sunni king, whose family holds various positions in the government and military. It is also considered as constitutional monarchy with elected legislative assembly.
Bahrain is among the first countries to discover oil and build a refinery in the peninsula. Unfortunately, the country was not able to enjoy the levels of production enjoyed by Saudi Arabia or Kuwait.
Manama is Bahrain’s capital, its major language is Arabic (although some know and understand English), and their currency is Bahraini Dinar (1 BHD = 143.34 PHP).
This is important. Even if your employer already arranged your work permit, you still need to complete this step.
As soon as you land in the Bahrain International Airport, make sure you head straight to the Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), an e-Government portal that issues your ID and residence permit. These documents are needed to ensure that you work in Bahrain legally.
To get your permit, make sure you submit documents like passport, visa, health exam results (this includes getting AIDS/HIV testing, ID photo, fingerprints, and signature.
Bahrain is majority Islam country, although they tolerate the practice of other religions. Still, there are certain prohibitions you need to follow. This includes:
- No smoking and drinking of alcohol in public places
- Dress appropriately, especially for the ladies.
- Public display of affection is a big no-no.
- Accept all refreshments, otherwise you are deemed rude.
- For the ladies, never ever shake hands with men, even if you are being introduced.
Despite the rules, there’s so much to see and do in Bahrain. Theme parks, cinemas, museums, pubs, and historical sites that you can visit during your off days.
Cost of Living
You will get paid with a good amount but the standard of living in Bahrain is high. Some companies offer free accommodation but in case yours did not, consider sharing with fellow foreign workers to reduce rental expense.
It is also recommended to ride public transport (by that, we mean bus) since it is more affordable.
The good news is you don’t get to pay taxes, including personal income, value-added tax, and withholding tax. Nonetheless, be ready to shell out one percent of your income for social security or 10 percent municipal tax for the monthly rent. Other than that, you can get bigger income every month.
Are you willing to give Bahrain a try?