Anti-illegal recruitment seminar conducted in Bicol
by CT Amo
Legazpi City (28 September) -- The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has provided legal assistance to some 472 victims of illegal recruitment during the first semester this year to which a total of 220 cases were filed against illegal recruiters.
This was bared at the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Seminar conducted by the POEA at the Pepperland Hotel here last September 20.
Atty. Jovencio Abara, chief of the Legal Assistance Division of the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch, also bared that during the same period 156 cases including those carried over from 2007 involving 406 victims were endorsed to the different Prosecutor’s Offices for preliminary investigation.
The POEA Surveillance and Operations Division on the other hand, has arrested 15 illegal recruiters through joint operations with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDF) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI); Reportedly, a total of P2.95 million was collected by illegal recruiters from 59 victims.
Abara said last year, a total of 1,135 victims of illegal recruitment were given legal assistance wherein 518 cases were filed against the suspected illegal recruiters.
He added that the POEA Prosecution Division endorsed 316 cases involving 694 victims to the different city and provincial prosecution offices for preliminary investigation. The Division also arrested some 50 illegal recruiters during joint operations with the CIDG and the NBI.
Also, 12 establishments were closed after they were proven to be engaging in illegal job recruitment.
In his briefing, Abara outlined the anti-illegal recruitment programs of the POEA that included legal assistance, prosecution as well as operations and surveillance activities.
"We also have a two-pronged approach in implementing the program like the preventive and remedial approaches," Abara told the 35 participants in the seminar.
The preventive approach is done through the conduct of pre-employment orientation seminars and education campaigns; information dissemination; publication; radio and TV appearances; conferences, seminars and training workshops; a stringent requirement for issuance and renewal of license; stiffer penalties for recruitment violations by licensed agencies and local government support in organizing job fairs.
The remedial approach comes through free legal assistance, prosecution of illegal recruiters, special operations, administrative prosecution of erring licensed agencies and networking.
Abara said "victims of illegal recruitment can avail of POEA services by making a complaint for recruitment violation as well as avail of the criminal remedy by making complaints for estafa and/or illegal recruitment or responsible officer of a licensed agency."
Atty. Alejandre Diaz, director of the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch, discussed the applicable laws on illegal recruitment like the R.A. 8942 as well as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Diaz urged all those interested to work abroad to visit the nearest POEA office for information on job openings as well as the accredited and licensed recruitment agency. (PIA) [top]