In a reverse of the Philippines’ usual mass deployment of workers to foreign lands, the government is planning job fairs in Qatar and Saudi Arabia to coax Filipinos back to their homeland.

On Tuesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said around 20,000 job opportunities were on offer, Manila Standard reported, and these would be touted at job fairs in the two Arab countries.

He said 18,000 jobs could be provided by former senator Manny Villar, who is in the construction industry. “We are planning to meet with former senator Villar, who is in need of 18,000 skilled workers,” Bello said.

In addition, around 2,000 teachers are needed by the Philippine Department of Education.

According to the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment, there are about 250,000 Filipinos employed in Qatar, 75% of whom are domestic workers.

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