Travelling for work from Qatar to Philippines is a booming choice for Overseas Filipino workers. However, certain large-scale problems might emerge. Diplomatic crisis, for instance, can be a huge pain in the side of OFWs, particularly our own overseas Filipino workers in Qatar. The daily Qatar living will be affected by severed ties between countries as well as having the effect from these and cut Doha links. The overall Pinoy Qatar living was affected due to the recent Qatar diplomatic crisis, rendering the overall Filipino population in Qatar to be densely affected. For a Filipino living in Qatar, this is indeed a difficult situation to be in.

The 2017 Qatar Diplomatic Crisis

In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Mauritius and the Maldives cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over an ongoing diplomatic dispute. This is due to accusations to Qatar of terrorism, of interfering with their internal affairs to several Arab states and maintaining relations with Iran. Qatar denies allegations that it supported terrorism, and pointed out that it has been contributing to the the US-led fight against ISIS. Qatar also defended its diplomatic ties with Iran, quoting “Tehran carries influence which cannot be ignored”.

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Qatar-based Al-Jazeera claims the dispute stems from a May 2017 hack of Qatar News Agency. Furthermore, Iran blamed it on US President Donald Trump.

Qatar has had several differences from other Arab governments on a number of issues. These are as follows:

  • It broadcasts Al Jazeera, it is accused of maintaining good relations with Iran.
  • Supports theMuslim Brotherhood in the past. Qatar has allowed the Afghan Taliban to set up a political office inside the country.
  • Qatar is also an American ally, hosting the largest American base in the Middle East.
  • All nations involved other than Egypt, Libya, and Maldives are part of theGulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional economic and political union. For years, countries in the GCC, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have all competed in exerting influence across the Arab world.

How many Filipinos are in Qatar?

The economy of Qatar relies heavily on migrant labor more than its reliability to the workforce of its natives. This results to a high number of expatriates, outnumbering the number of workforce of its natives. According to a 2017 population report from seasoned Qatar-based journalist Priya D. Souza, the Filipino population in Qatar states that there are as many as 260,000 Filipinos living in Qatar as of January 2017, making it the fourth biggest group of foreign workers in Qatar. In addition, Qatar also has the fourth biggest Filipino population in the Middle East, next only to Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, according to 2015 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Deployed land based Overseas Filipino workers in Qatar counted to 113,151 and 133,169 in years 2014 and 2015 respectively (16.595 increase), according to data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). In the whole Middle East, Qatar ranks as the 3rd biggest destinations for OFWs. By percentage, it is 9.79%.

According to Workabroad.ph 2016 Overseas Salary Report, Qatar ranks as the 2nd highest paying country in deployment (₱ 209,700.00), just next to UAE (₱ 253,826.00). The Aviation industry has the highest earners, according to the aforementioned report.

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