Decline of oil industry, opportunity for Philippines co-ops

Reports say close to 3 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East, especially some 1.5 million in Saudi Arabia, are in danger of losing their jobs because of loss of oil revenues arising from glut in oil supply, among other factors, that plunged world oil prices from as high as $114 dollars per barrel in August 2014 to $38 per barrel on December 29, 2015.

The dire implications for the PH economy cannot be overstated as OFW remittances have kept the economy afloat for more than four decades now.  As of 2014, remittances from OFW earnings amount to more than $26.9 billion.

However, Balasubramanian “ Balu” G. Iyer, regional director of International Cooperative Alliance for Asia-Pacific, downplayed the perceived imminent danger, saying the downturn of the oil industry in the Middle East is part of the “ups and downs” of the global economy which has affected many other countries not only the Philippines.

Interviewed in the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific conference on women co-op leaders, Iyer said PH cooperatives should look at returning OFWs as “valuable resource” in terms of assets and skills because of the many work exposures they have had in different countries around the world.

Read the full article at Cebu Daily News


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