Dalmatia Moving Forward with Filipino Workers this Summer?

Daniela Rogulj

Just how many problems employers have finding workforce was demonstrated on Tuesday by the interest of employers in Dalmatia who sought information about Filipino workers and ways to hire them. Organized by the Croatian Chamber of Economy – County Chamber of Split and in cooperation with the Pasat agency, representatives of the Filipino employment agency Magsaysay International Corporaticon INC. were presented, reports HRTurizam on June 11, 2019.

“For 2019, more than 65,000 foreign workers were approved, which is twice as many than in the previous year. The odds are bigger than ever, the workforce is missing, and this is a problem not only affecting Croatia but also neighboring countries in the region. Therefore, colleagues from the FBiH and Montenegro Chambers are now in contact with us to share information on the possibilities and procedures for recruiting Filipinos workers,” said Croatian President of the Chamber of Commerce of Split, Joze Tomaš.

According to Antonija Bašićiz of ŽK Split, in the first half of the year, 60% of the quota has been used or will be, and said that most workers are missing in tourism and hospitality, construction and shipbuilding. Tuesday’s presentation is a continuation of a series of activities that the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Split realized this year to support members in solving the problems of finding a workforce.

One of the largest recruitment agencies in the Philippines is Magsaysay International Corporaticon INC.

The director of the agency for the employment of seafarers ‘Pasat d.o.o.’, Ino Munitić, said he has the best experiences with Magsaysay, his longtime partner, and with the Filipino labor force. 

“Given the great lack of labor in Croatia, Filipinos represent a quality, substitute workforce, and according to my experience, they are calm, quiet and working people. The process of granting Filipinos labor visas in Croatia takes about a month,” Munitić said.

The participants were interested in many details of employing Filipinos, such as the how long it’ll take to bring the workers overs, the length of their contracts, and their employment opportunities not only in tourism and hospitality, but also in other activities such as vineyards, quarries or, for example, installing lifts.

Goran Rihelj writes that thanks to the chronic lack of workforce in Dalmatia, employers in tourism are willing to take such measures and adventures. However, in the long run, this is certainly not good because, besides returning to the root of the problem – cheap labor, rather than quality workers from Asian countries cannot be ambassadors of our destination, as they do not help the local economy or plan to move here. But if we want cheap labor, then we will have such tourism – inexpensive, massive, seasonal, which means we have to reduce prices in all segments significantly.

Rihelj suggests that the only solution is to raise wages and working conditions in tourism, focusing on quality rather than mass tourism. On the other hand, Croatia has high VAT, high tax burden and tolls, and a short season… So, what’s the best solution?

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