Selling broken promises

ASPIRING applicants are warned against illegal recruitment agencies after operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 caught three suspects in Barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City yesterday morning.

Supt. Fermin Armendarez, chief of the CIDG-Metro Cebu, said that they conducted an entrapment against personnel of Philjobs Manpower Services, a local recruitment agency.

"This is large-scale illegal recruitment. When our police decoy posed as an applicant to be a driver, they issued receipts under the name of Philjobs, which was not registered in the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)," Armendarez said.

The suspects were identified as Heide Geraldez, 35; Edmund Sayloon, 33; and Ruth Arcega, 34. They all hail from Mandaue City.

Dole 7 filed a complaint against the three for issuing receipts and making applicants pay P350 up to P800 using an expired permit.

"The agency was monitored since October 2016 when they advertised in a local newspaper. When we verified them, their authority to recruit already expired in 2014," said Atty. Rey Buenafe, chief legal of the Dole 7.

Buenafe said they have yet to verify if the applicants who sought the services of Philjobs were given actual jobs because the complaints they received accused the agency of asking for certain amounts from applicants without giving them the positions they applied for.

The agency has invited Felipe Retobado Jr., Philjobs' registered owner, for questioning.

Buenafe said that they are processing the closure order against Philjobs and they expect to implement it this week.

Geraldez, Sayloon and Arcega will be charged with violating Republic Act 8042, which penalizes persons who engage in illegal recruitment. It is a non-bailable offense.

Buenafe encouraged other victims to file a formal complaint at their office.

Dole 7 Director Exequiel Sarcauga said that illegal recruitment is a criminal offense, but it’s up to the CIDG to file additional charges, if there are any.

Sarcauga said that based on their records, Philjobs was registered as a recruitment agency, but its permit expired in 2012 yet. It reportedly continued to supply job applicants to a registered recruitment agency.

“It seems they raked huge sums of money since 2012 because the labor laws compliance officers, who validated and evaluated the complaints, found out that it collected an average of P11,000 per day from unsuspecting job applicants, several of whom were not hired,” he said.
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