19 manning firms face illegal recruitment raps-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
NINETEEN manning agencies, including 16 with valid operating licenses, were charged with illegal recruitment for disregarding a government directive against offsite recruitment activities.
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the agency filed charges against the 19 agencies for still conducting recruitment activities at Luneta Seafarer's Center near the National Library in T.M. Kalaw street in Manila despite a government ban.
"All recruitment activities outside the registered offices of a licensed recruitment or manning agency are deemed illegal without the special recruitment authority (SRA) issued by the POEA," said Cacdac.
The manning agencies discovered recruiting seafarers at Luneta Seafarer's Center are Korpil Ship Management and Manning Corporation; Seaboard Maritime; Wallem Maritime Services Inc.; Avantgarde Shipping Corporation; Univan Management Services Phils Inc.; Century Maritime Agencies Inc.; Solpia Marine and Ship Management Inc.; Great Swiss Maritime Services Inc.; Intercrew Philippines Agency Inc.; and Epsilon Maritime Services Inc.;
Also charged were C-Man Maritime Inc.; Trans-Global Maritime Agency Inc.; Cardiff Crewing Filipinas Inc.; International Ship Crew Management Phils Inc.; Michaelmar Phils Inc.; Hanjin Shipping; Evic Human Resource Management Inc.; Morning Mist Maritime Services; and Seafarers Shipping Inc.
Upon verification with the POEA database, Cacdac said Seaboard Maritime; Hanjin Shipping; and Morning Mist Maritime Services were found to have no authority to recruit or deploy overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
"The other agencies have valid licenses," said Cacdac.
Over the years, seafarers looking for jobs in foreign vessels converge in that part of Rizal Park due to its proximity to most of the licensed manning agencies in Ermita and Intramuros.
The Associated Marine Officers and Seaman's Union of the Philippines (Amosup), the POEA recalled, had the idea of converting the place into a center, where seafarers coming from the provinces can have a place to stay in Manila while looking for a job or waiting to board a ship.
The idea later evolved into a center, wherein information about seafaring can be discussed or posted with Amosup eventually transferring the management of the center to Luneta Seafarers Welfare Association (Luswelf).
The POEA became part of the center in 2007 through a memorandum of agreement with Luswelf by conducting orientation seminars and distribution of information materials before later renting out booths to manning agencies that wanted to recruit seafarers in the area.
Subsequently, the POEA issued SRAs to legalize the recruitment activities of the agencies.
In April 2009, the Joint Manning Group, a conglomeration of several associations of manning agencies issued a resolution enjoining their members to pull out of the Luswelf area because the objectives of the center were no longer met.
Since May 2009, the POEA has already stopped issuing SRAs supposedly due to reported hiring malpractices.
It similarly ordered those occupying booths at the Luneta Seafarers' Center to end their recruitment activities or face administrative sanctions.
On the other hand, Cacdac said it would be best if applicants for seafaring jobs to file their applications directly with licensed manning agencies in their registered office address, which can be found in the POEA website. (HDT/Sunnex)