Saudi Arabia eyes hiring 1M skilled Filipino workers over next 2 years

June 07, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is eyeing to hire one million skilled Filipino workers in the next two years, the Department of Migrant Workers said Tuesday.

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople said the Philippines and Saudi Arabia discussed the possibility of a special hiring program “to address the labor needs” of the Gulf state.

According to Ople, Saudi Arabia’s hospitality, construction, and information and technology sectors need more Filipino workers.

The DMW chief, however, stressed the government must balance Saudi Arabia’s call for more Filipino workers with the hiring demand of local companies.

“We need to have a special hiring program that would accommodate their needs while also scaling up our skills training and opportunities for job internships so that there is continued sustainability for our own needs and for the needs of our external partners,” she said.

Saudi Arabia will send a technical team to the Philippines in June to discuss the program.

DMW officials met with Saudi Human Resources and Social Development Minister Ahmed Al-Rajhi in Riyadh last week.

Around 700,000 Filipinos are currently working in Saudi Arabia. Before the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, there were around 1.5 million Filipino workers there. — Gaea Katreena Cabico