The Philippine government will be limiting the number of Filipino migrant workers being deployed to the Middle East by 10%. The Department of Labor and Employment issued an order to limit the number of Filipino migrant workers, particularly domestic workers, to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries where a large majority of Filipinos are already deployed, The Filipino Times reported.

Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III said the order was to lessen the number of welfare cases among domestic workers as many of them were often abused by their employers. He said the aim of the order was to encourage Filipinos to return to the Philippines and work at home instead.

Labor consultant Emmanuel Geslani said the order may affect the deployment of domestic workers to the Middle East by 30,000, which represents about 10% of more than 300,000 domestic workers deployed there annually, Manila Bulletin reported.

Bernard Olalia, of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, said there will be an increase in the deployment of professional, skilled and semi-skilled Filipino workers to make up for the decrease in the deployment of domestic workers.

Olalia said 1,000 nurses were needed in Saudi Arabia, while Germany needed 4,000 nurses. He said there would be no placement fees or recruitment agencies when applying for the jobs since it was under a government-to-government agreement.