CITY COUNCIL officers will propose a resolution to properly inform the British Embassy of its committee report relative to the fact-finding hearing they conducted on the complaints against Global Placement Provider Services (GPPS), Inc.

Sonya Verdeflor, chairperson of the Bacolod City Council Committee on Labor and Management and Overseas Workers Council, together with Councilor Archie Baribar, chair of the Committee on Human Rights, will propose the said resolution.

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GPPS is the company, which is the subject of the complaint filed by five Bacolodnons before the City Council and the National Bureau of Investigation, that allegedly promised to send the complainants to study and work in the United Kingdom reportedly after they have each paid the company about P100,000.

Verdeflor also said that they will propose a resolution calling for the review of the business permit of GPPS to determine if it was secured in accordance with the rules and regulations of the City Government of Bacolod.

They will also propose another resolution, which will inquire from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) whether GPPS is accredited with that government agency, she added.

For his part, Bacolod Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson will seek an opinion from City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan relative to the unauthorized use of the MassKara Hall at the Government Center and the letter head of the City Council to issue a certificate of attendance to those who attended an orientation seminar conducted by the public relations consultant of GPPS.

The seminar, a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) dubbed as "The Migration Workers as Philippine Ambassadors", was held in October 31, 2009.

The signatories for the certificate of attendance for the PDOS were reportedly former councilor Wilson "Jun" Gamboa, Jr., former chairman of the City Council Committee on Overseas and Filipino Workers, and Gil Severino, the resource speaker who is also the public relations consultant of GPPS.

Sayson said that he was not aware of the use of the MassKara Hall for the orientation. "I just knew it after election," he stated.

"The use of the City Council letter head is usurpation and I will ask the city legal officer to come up with an opinion to guide us in taking appropriate action on the unauthorized use of the public facility and the City Council letter head" the vice mayor said.

He said that every member of City Council should be responsible in seeing to it that public offices or facilities will not be used by unscrupulous individuals for their own self interest.

Moreover, Mark Yamoyam, one of the five complainants against GPPS, wondered why GPPS claimed that it has transferred his enrollment to another school in London when, in fact, it cannot even refund the P100,000 that he reportedly paid the company.

All the complainants sought a refund of the payments they made to Mrs. Jocelyn Dableo-Lantron, the director of GPPS.

The complainants said that their real purpose in going to London is to work. They were promised that after they paid the P100,000, their student or volunteer visas will be released within two months.

According to the complainants, they should have left in January 2009 but, until now, they are still in Bacolod with nothing but debts. Others have even held "farewell parties" because they believed that they can go to London as promised.

Most of them already bought winter jackets and clothing to prepare for their departure to London. Some have even already sought the approval of their employers for them to resign from their work here.

But all those preparations came to naught.

Our committees will see to it that appropriate measures will be undertaken to protect the interests and welfare of our constituents in Bacolod against the questionable activities of GPPS, Verdeflor said. (Carla N. Cañet)