Huge demand for OFWs in Europe as countries rebuild from pandemic

Published February 24, 2021, 6:56 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are still very much in demand in several European countries despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Labor Attaché Maria Corina Padilla-Buñag in Milan, Italy shared this piece of “good news” during Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) virtual press briefing Wednesday, Feb.24.

“Nakakagulat, kahit sa panahon ng pandemya, the host countries, ang mga ibang bansa, gusto pa rin mag-hire ng Filipinos. Marami pa rin ang demand for Filipinos (It’s surprising that even in the middle of the pandemic, other countries still want to hire Filipinos. There’s still a huge demand for Filipinos),” Buñag said.

“Sa (In) Croatia, they are slowly rebuilding. They want waiters, they want hotel keepers. Sa (In) Romania, there’s a need, a clamor for domestic workers,” she bared.

Meanwhile, Buñag said that Austria is among the many nations that are waiting on the deployment of Filipino nurses. She reckoned that the demand there for Filipino nurses is around 4,000.

“As you know there is a dearth of healthcare workers in Europe,” she said.

“Nahinto tayo ng pandemya eh (The pandemic halted talks) but I’m sure the Embassy will also work on having bilateral agreements related to nurses katulad ng meron tayo sa Germany (like what we have with Germany). It’s something to look into,” the official said.

Buñag described Filipino healthcare workers as being skilled and ready to work despite the hazards of the new coronavirus.

She says the tourism and agriculture sectors in Europe–sectors that suffered or were neglected during the pandemic last year–are also potential markets for OFWs as countries there attempt to get back on their feet.

Europe was hard hit by COVID last year, with the nothern Italian region of Lombardy becoming an epicenter of the dreaded disease.