Binay asks media, LGU help in fight vs illegal recruitment

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Sunday, May 11, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Vice President Jejomar Binay has asked the media and local government units to help in the in battle against illegal recruitment.

"Siguro ang media, papakiusapan ko kayo na tulungan kami sa aming campaign laban sa illegal recruitment. Malaking problema pa rin iyon," Binay said.

He asked the help of local officials in tracking illegal recruiters in their areas. He also called for their aid in convincing returned victims to pursue cases against their recruiters.

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Binay, who is the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Concerns and heads the Presidential Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment (PTFAIR) also said that government has yet to find solutions to the problem of Filipinos leaving the country without visa requirements.

"Pupunta sila (illegally recruited OFWs) sa Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, tapos tatanggapin ng syndicate, tapos dadalhin na sa Middle East, sa Dubai, sa Abu Dhabi. Hanggang ngayon may nakakapunta pa sa Syria kahit nagkakagulo na," he said.

"'Yon ang problema natin. Daang-libo ang ating undocumented OFWs kaya tulungan natin laban sa illegal recruiters," added Binay.

Individuals who are planning to leave the country should also ensure that the agencies they talk with are accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), he added.

According to Binay, the issue of illegal recruitment especially in the Middle East mostly lies with unskilled and undocumented workers.

"Alam ba ninyo na 'yong mga problema na galing sa Middle East, nanggagaling lang 'yon sa 12 to 15% at sino ito? 'Yong mga domestic helpers at saka unskilled [workers], pero 'yong skilled [workers] masayang-masaya 'yon at 'daang libo [piso] kinikita 'non. Maganda pa mga benefits doon," he said.

He pointed out that the situation with undocumented was more difficult because they are only identified once problems occur.

"At ang mga madalas mangyari iyong mga naloloko ng mga agencies, pangangakuan ng $400 -sabagay sa Saudi ngayon itinakda nilang batas na ang minimum [wage] is $400. Pero ang tatanggapin lang nila $100 o $150, aangal ka na talaga doon."

He added that sexual abuse was also prevalent in the area.

"Ito hindi lang sa babae ha, sa Middle East napakadaming umutang. Bawal yata sabihin ang interes. Kapag umutang ka roon, para ka na ring nakapatay ng tao dahil sa penalty na haharapin mo ['pag di ka nakabayad]. So, [iyong may] mga violation of contracts, basta na lang umaalis sa pinagtatrabahuan nila, 'yon may mga utang," he added.

The Vice President said that the problem with skilled workers, meanwhile, was their hesitation to leave even when the situation in the countries they are working in becomes unstable.

"Doon naman sa Libya, you have to understand maraming nasa desert, ang gulo doon sa capital lang. Sa Syria, maraming nagpuputukan pero ayaw pa ring umalis ng iba," Binay added.

The Vice President also said that measures are being done to address the possible infection of OFWs from the Middle East from the Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS CoV).

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 12, 2014.

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