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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Macau prioritizes hiring of locals; OFWs warned


The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) warned Filipino workers from going to Macau to look for employment with only tourist visas as the Macau government has passed a law that prioritizes the hiring of local workers over foreign workers.


Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Macau, Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said it is no longer easy for foreign workers to come and find employment in Macau, unlike in the past when they could apply and easily fill vacancies as walk-in applicants in this part of China.


Roque said Filipino workers should be wary against unscrupulous individuals or agencies who may entice or bring them to Macau as tourists with promises of stumbling upon jobs in this Chinese territory as they may instead find themselves in dire straits in view of the new Macau restrictions against foreign workers.


He said the workers should always verify first with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) the legality of jobs in Macau that may be offered them.  In 2009, POEA deployed 6,729 OFWs to Macau, most of whom were employed in the tourism sector.


The Macau government passed the Law for the Employment of Non-residential Workers, also known as the Law on Imported Labor, to safeguard the employment of local workers and restrict the hiring of migrant workers in Macau.  The new law took effect on April 26, 2010.


The POLO – Macau report said the draft administrative regulations complementing the new law have already been submitted to the Macau government's Executive Council .


In view of the new law, the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (FAOM) presented 10 demands to the Macau Department of Transportation and Public Works to protect local workers and prevent the illegal employment of foreign workers.  The union asked the Macau government to, among others, prevent the hiring of foreign workers in occupations such as drivers and floor supervisors in casinos, and in the industrial and construction sectors as well.


Meanwhile, the POLO-Macau has consulted the Macau Labor Affairs Bureau (DSAL) for the conduct of a symposium aimed at orienting the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Macau on the new Law on Imported Labor.  


Macau, a former Portuguese colony, is one of the two special administrative regions in China.  The other one is Hong Kong.  Macau's economy is based largely on tourism, gaming, and hospitality industry which contributes more than 50% of its GDP.  Other chief economic activities in this administrative region are export-geared textile and garment manufacturing, banking and other financial services.



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