The Possible Effects Of Covid-19 On OFWs And Overseas Employment, In General

According to the Department of Labor and Employment, almost 100,000 OFWs were stranded worldwide because of the coronavirus. These OFWs were either affected by:

  • Lockdown policies in their respective host countries
  • Distressed workers who are seeking repatriation
  • Expired contracts but cannot go back to the Philippines due to travel restrictions

Majority of these workers are coming from Middle East countries.

Here comes the scary part: this is just the beginning. Aside from tourism, overseas employment will most likely be affected by the pandemic.

Here’s how:

Lower Remittance

In 2019, OFW remittances went as high as $33.9 billion or 10 percent of the country’s GDP (1). These remittances have a positive impact on the country’s foreign exchange earnings. As a result, there is balance of payments, it strengthens the Philippine currency, and an increase in foreign reserves.

More importantly, it goes straight to the household. This means OFW families have sufficient spending power to buy not just what they need but also what they want.

Sadly, overseas employment is greatly affected by the pandemic. This means there will be lower remittances, too.

The New Normal In The Workplace

The hashtag #newnormal is trending – and it’s not surprising why. A lot of adjustments will be made by different industries to minimize the spread of the virus.

The same goes for the workplace.

Most companies around the world are making necessary adjustments to reduce the possibility of infection. Surely, social distancing will be strictly implemented. Companies will also be forced to institute a rotational workforce to reduce the number of workers inside the company premises. They might also implement shortened work hours in the company.

Lower Overseas Employment Opportunities

Countries around the world are enforcing travel restrictions to minimize the possibility of spreading the virus. More so, the government will prioritize their own citizens first. There could also be economic issues involved as every country in the world is trying to recover. Sadly, this will greatly affect overseas employment opportunities.

In the meantime, you can still look for jobs that will fit your credentials. When everything is slowly getting back to normal, you can apply again.

Temporary Or Indefinite Unemployment

This is true whether here or abroad. There are a lot of OFWs stranded abroad because thy are unable to go back home due to the travel ban. There are also a lot of workers who are still in the Philippines and cannot go to their host country because of the restrictions imposed. Worse, there are companies that opt not to renew or cancel the worker’s contract due to economic difficulties.

Changes In In-Demand Jobs

Because of the pandemic, there is a higher demand for healthcare workers both here and overseas. This could be a good income opportunity.

Aside from those in the medical field, there is also a growing demand for workers who are knowledgeable in technology. People will constantly look for ways to make their lives easier, especially when it comes to shopping and paying the bills. Apps will constantly by developed and creation of websites will be on the rise; hence work opportunities.

Still, this doesn’t mean other fields are no longer needed. Companies are waiting it out and when everyone is safe, the demand will rise again.

Health Is Key

There’s a reason why companies require future employees to go through medical exam. They need to know and make sure that you are fit to work.

Because of Covid-19, there is a possibility that medical exams will be taken more seriously. Companies need to ensure that you are fit to work, whether physically, mentally, and emotionally. This way, both parties can focus on work and not worry about being sent home.



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