The oil and gas companies in Algeria intend to hire more foreign workers and they prefer Filipino workers. This is the good news that was shared by the recent announcement of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
According to the DOLE advisory, there are at least three companies in Algeria that plans to hire more overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for various projects. This statement is based on a report by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Tripoli, Libya.
Nasser Mustafa, Labor Attaché of the Philippines in Algeria said that he conducted site verification and ocular inspection of the three Algeria-based companies that needs OFWs and rate the work conditions of the companies “satisfactory." The three companies inspected are COJAAL, Samsung, and Doodsal. Mustafa also had a meeting with the management of a Japanese firm in Algeria, the MITAC, which built a 220-km road project with the Algerian National Agency for Highways.
The said road project was done through COJAAL, a partnership of five Japanese companies that includes Kajima, Taichi, Nishimachu, Hajana, and Ituchu.
According to Mustafa, COJAAL is planning another huge project. This time it is for the construction of a 17-kilometer superhighway to connect Annabah to the Tunisian border.
Mustafa said, “Most MITAC-COJAAL workers that completed the 220-km Constantine project have been transferred to Camp 7, a project site which has two satellite work sites that need more highly skilled workers.”
He added that he personally saw the working and living conditions of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) employed in COJAAL Satellite No. 3, Mustafa. He said, “The OFWs there were highly regarded by the COJAAL management as evidenced by the ‘zero’ complaints as to date."
The labor attaché added, “Food and accommodation in the satellite site were not only suitable but also adequate. Each room has four beds, with the building having common entertainment and several comfort rooms.”
Aside from that, camp a wireless Internet access is also available in the whole camp, which makes it easier for OFWs to get in touch with their families in the Philippines.
The OFWs in Algeria are also reported to be satisfied with the remittance system of the company. The charges in sending remittance money are also shouldered by the Algerian-based companies. The salary is given every 16th of the succeeding month and they can choose from the three methods to send money to the Philippines:
- They can send 100 percent of their salary to the account of their spouse or family in the Philippines.
- They can send money to two different Philippine accounts and the OFW will decide the amount to placed in each account.
- They can choose to keep as much as 20 percent of their salary in Algeria and then remit the rest of the money to the Philippines.
Mustafa said that there are currently more than 400 OFWs employed at COJAAL Satellite No. 2. In his conversation with the OFWs, he said that most of the questions raised were about the agencies that had deployed the workers: Asia Contract, HRD, Camox Philippines, and WERR. Apparently 20 of the OFWs that were deployed by the WERR agency were not verified by POLO.
Another concern of the workers is the transfer of COJAAL workers deployed by Asia Contract to a different employer. The OFWs are worried that the transfer might involved immigration documents and may cause a delay in their return to the Philippines once their work contract expires.
Samsung Co. Ltd., a Korean company with a contract to build a USD5-billion liquid and gas project at Schikda was also inspected by Mustafa. The general manager of Samsung said that they need to hire an initial 20 professional and highly skilled oil and gas workers.
On the other hand, Doodsal Co. which is an Indian-based company involved in Algeria’s L&G project in Schikda currently employs more than 100 Filipinos.
Mustafa informed that in his meeting with the human resource manager of Doodsal, he mentioned that the workers’ were concerned that the Algerian Labor Law does not offer end-of-service benefits or gratuities to foreign workers who have completed their contracts, unlike in many Middle East countries.