Local government units (LGUs) could save the country from a full-blown employment crisis feared to be likely when some 1.5 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Middle East would lose their jobs due to mass retrenchments resulting from the slide of oil prices.
Marcos, attending the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) General Assembly at the Marriot Hotel in Pasay City, said the national government officials should sit down with LGU executives to map out a strategic plan to avert the possible crisis as localities host the employment sector like manufacturing, services, constructions, and other industries.
He proposed the action as the government fears that at least 1.5 million OFWs in Saudi Arabia may lose their jobs and will add up tremendously to the already huge number of unemployed domestically once they return home and no local employments will be available.
He said LGU officials can convince investors to open or expand its human resource requirements and hire even temporarily jobless OFWs.
“Local officials can talk to owners or operators of business establishments in their respective jurisdictions to help by employing, at the very least temporarily, OFWs that have returned because they lost their jobs abroad. Our OFWs are skilled and I’m sure they will fit in easily,” he said in a statement.
But Marcos admitted this is only “first aid” and the government should still come up with a genuine solution.
He said since Ilocos Norte, his home province, has the most number of families that have relatives or friends working abroad, local officials should start negotiating with the business community in the province to assist displaced Ilocano OFWs.