x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

2,000 expected to attend job fair for Filipinos

A job fair in June is targeting Filipinos who arrive in the country on tourist visas to look for work.

DUBAI // Filipinos who would like to change jobs or who have been unable to find work after arriving in the country on tourist visas are being invited to try their luck at a career fair next month.

Alan Bacason, the president of the Filipino Human Resources Practitioners' Association, known as Fil-HR, said the group expects at least 2,000 applicants to attend. "We cannot guarantee they'll get a job but we will guide them through the application process," he said.

The job fair is one of the free services being organised by Filcom, the umbrella organisation of 63 community groups in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, for the Philippine independence day celebrations on June 10.

Filipinos are typically advised to apply for overseas jobs through a recruitment agency accredited with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to ensure their rights as migrant workers are protected.

Amilbahar Amilasan, the labour attache in Dubai, said he had nothing against job-seekers on tourist visas who were already in the Emirates to find work. "We hope they get a good job at the fair but they need to read their contracts carefully," he said.

Filipinos who secure an employment visa must still visit the Philippine overseas labour office in Dubai or Abu Dhabi to secure an overseas employment certificate.

"This will ensure that they are properly documented as overseas Filipino workers," Mr Amilasan said.

Pia Pilapil, a travel agent in Dubai, said at least 250 Filipinos arrive in Dubai every month to look for work using a tourist visa issued by her agency. "Some manage to land a job and get an employment visa within a month," she said. "For the rest, they need to exit to Kish or the Philippines and stay there for at least a month before returning to the UAE."

Last week, Elvis Gabayoyo, 26, an aircraft technician, sought Fil-HR's help after being jobless since arriving in Dubai last December. He went on a visa run to Kish island on February 15 and stayed there for 43 days before he got a new visa to return to Dubai. "Now my visa is expiring next month," he said.

The fair, which is part of a community service expo by Filcom, is on June 10 from 8am to 2pm at the Al Shabab Sports Club in Hor al Anz, Dubai.

"It will be open to Filipinos but we will not turn away applicants from other nationalities," said Rowena Penilla, the chairman of the event.

The expo will also include free haircuts, facials, medical check-ups, a blood donation drive, a course on tennis and a consultation on financial literacy during the day.

rruiz@thenational.ae