8 agencies barred from recruiting OFWs

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Thursday, May 8, 2014


EIGHT local recruitment agencies have been barred by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) from recruiting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) upon recommendation by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

In a statement, POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac said he has issued preventive suspension orders against eight recruitment agencies found to have provided fraudulent documents to their recruited workers.

"The eight agencies were among those previously endorsed to the POEA by the Bureau of Immigration for administrative sanctions," said Cacdac.

The eight are Experts Placement Agency, Inc.; Zareiko Production, Inc.; Dobim International Manpower Services; Chosen Divine Mercy Manpower Services Corporation; Tibiao Antique Manpower Corporation; Nahed International Manpower Services; Trustworthy International Manpower Corporation; and Ridzkey Human Resources International Services.

The POEA quoted the BI report as saying that the workers initially presented at the airport travel and employment documents stating they were bound for the United Arab Emirates to work as office clerks, salespersons, cashier, among others, but were also in possession of visas and itinerary tickets either for Jordan or Lebanon to work as household services workers.

The workers, subsequently, were barred by the Bureau of Immigration from leaving the country after the discovery.

Cacdac said he has already directed the POEA Adjudication Office to speed up the hearing of the cases.

"I asked them to submit their respective recommendations immediately for the issuance of final orders," said Cacdac.

Meanwhile, two more recruitment agencies are now prohibited from recruiting OFWs as their licenses have been cancelled after they were found liable of misrepresentation, which is considered a form of illegal recruitment.

The two found violating Section 6 of Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 are Al-Sadiq Manpower Corporation and MEDRP International Philippines, Inc.

"Clearly, through deception, the recruitment agency tried to avoid the strict requirements of the POEA in the recruitment and deployment of household service workers," Cacdac said.

Section 6 (c) of the RA 8042 states that it is considered a form of illegal recruitment "to give any false notice, testimony, information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation."

Cacdac said a couple filed the case against Al-Sadiq Manpower after they were not allowed to board their plane at NAIA by the BI due to inconsistencies in their travel and employment documents.

The complainants alleged they were recruited by a freelance agent and were referred to Al-Sadiq Manpower for possible employment as household service worker (HSW) and driver respectively for a family in Saudi Arabia with a monthly salary of 1,200 Saudi riyals.

The complainants narrated in their joint affidavit that they have completed the necessary employment documents and were able to attend the pre-deployment orientation seminar (PDOS). They were surprised, however, that their respective PDOS certificate bore data encoder and laborer as position instead of HSW and driver.

The couple also alleged they were made to sign employment contracts with the new position.

They claimed that an employee of Al-Sadiq assured them they will still work as HSW and driver for the Arab family as promised and the agency is using other positions only to facilitate their immediate deployment. The employee also coached them on the "correct" answers if questioned by POEA and Immigration officials at the airport.

On the other hand, the complainant in the case against MEDRP International alleged that she was recruited by a certain Felix Villanueva to work as a household service worker for Al Jazzi Abu Zalman, a foreign principal in Kuwait. Villanueva assured her that she would be deployed without a local agent but her records with the POEA revealed that she was deployed by MEDRP International as a "promodizer" for Gulf Integration Establishment for General Trading and Contracting, also in Kuwait.

The complainant claimed that upon arrival in Kuwait, Al Jazzi Abu Zalman brought her to her first employer where she stayed for only 45 days. She requested repatriation to the Philippines after suffering from sexual abuse and maltreatment.

Al Jazzi Abu Zalman refused to let her go unless she reimburse the agency of its expenses in bringing her to Kuwait amounting to P200,000. The agency deployed her to its other clients in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where she suffered more of the same maltreatment from the employers.

The husband of the worker sought the assistance of the POEA and eventually she was repatriated with the assistance of the welfare officers and personnel of the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. (HDT/Sunnex)

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