Jobs await Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
in Iraq’s Kurdistan region
By Jerome Aning
Recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani
Philippines, — Thousands of jobs await Filipino
workers in the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan,
where the economy is booming, a recruitment
specialist said Sunday.
“Not only is Iraqi Kurdistan the most developed and
relatively peaceful region in Iraq, it is also on
its way to becoming an investment destination,” said
Emmanuel Geslani, spokesperson of the FIA in Manila,
in a statement.
Geslani said local recruiters were hoping the total
lifting of the deployment ban to Iraq would open
jobs for Overseas Filipino Workers displaced by the
Libyan conflict in the oil and gas sector in
Kurdistan which needs engineers, technicians and
other related professionals.
Geslani, a major advocate of the lifting of the
deployment ban to Iraq and Afghanistan, hoped
Filipino diplomats headed by Foreign Undersecretary
Rafael Seguis, who visited Baghdad and the Kurdish
capital Erbil recently,www.ekurd.netwould
recommend that Filipinos be allowed to work in Iraq
Seguis met with Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, who
heads the Department of Foreign Relations of the
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Citing government and industry estimates, Geslani
said there were 5,000 to 7,000 undocumented
OFWs in Kurdistan who were looking forward to the
lifting of the deployment ban so they could go home
and be legitimized by the Philippines Overseas
Employment Administration like the OFWs working in
US military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Most OFWs in Kurdistan have been working there since
2005 in infrastructure projects, oil and the
petroleum industry, telecoms, hotels and schools
teaching English, Geslani said.
Despite isolated cases of bombings and terror
attacks in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, Geslani
said Kurdistan, administered by the democratically
elected KRG, remains a magnet for Iraqis from the
south looking to escape violence and for
international companies wanting to enter Iraq.
Billions of dollars, he added, were being spent on
infrastructure projects like new roads, dams,
communications, electricity distribution, sewage and
water facilities by the regional government funded
by the oil industry.
Tourist spots are being developed in the cities of
Duhok and Sulaimaniyah where there are natural and
Thousands of new jobs are opening up in the capital
Erbil which local leaders plan to convert into a
“New Dubai,” Geslani said, adding that the city has
modern malls with stores of international brands
including Levi’s, Timberland and Ecco, and indoor
“New hotel chains are sprouting international hotel
operators, including Marriott and Moevenpick, are
looking at opportunities to open hotels in Erbil,
which would largely accommodate business travelers
working on oil and gas and infrastructure projects
in the region,” Geslani said.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Copyright ©, respective
author or news agency,
does not take credit for and is not responsible for the
content of news information on this page