PHILIPPINE Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) Regional Director Delfina Camarillo said since January to June this year, more than 46 illegal recruitment cases have been reported to the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Records from the agency showed illegal recruitment cases nearly doubled from 26 cases for the same period last year.

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Camarillo said this is currently being addressed by intensifying information and education campaigns to prospective migrant workers on the common tactics of illegal recruiters.

Camarillo said those who see ads placed through the internet for job openings abroad should be wary of direct hire strategies of illegal recruiters.

She said these internet-based direct employers are mostly swindlers out to get money from unsuspecting applicants who fall prey to their blind ads.

Direct hires should be at no cost to the applicant because expenses like visa applications, placement fees and other expenses will always be shouldered by the employer.

Camarillo added those who solicit placement and other fees even if they are directly hiring and are not recruitment agencies should already forewarn a prospective Overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

Prospective OFWs must always check with the POEA license of the agencies recruiting them for work by going to their agency’s website or contacting their office.

“It’s always a must-do that you check the POEA license of your agency as it is the number one reason why many people get cheated in their employment,” she said.

As a tip she said migrant workers are always asked to sign an employment contract. “Always remember that, before signing a contract, read and study first all the provisions. Do not sign the contract, nor pay any fee unless you have fully understood and agreed to the indicated terms and conditions,” she stressed.

Documentation costs, which are usually paid by the worker, include expenses for the following: passport, medical exam, NBI or police clearance, Philhealth, trade test, authentication and inoculation as required by the host country. Other fees that are collected beyond what is required should already beware prospect jobseekers, she added. (JM Agreda)