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PIA Press Release

Siquijor POEA spots overseas employment scams, alerts public

by Rizalie A. Calibo

Province of Siquijor (13 February) -- Job seekers, interested in overseas employment that promises high pay, good benefits, free traveled adventure, should be aware that there are unscrupulous operators who have devised elaborate and very convincing scams to bilk unwitting, and often desperate applicants, says an advisory from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Despite this warning, illegal recruitment activities continue to proliferate. Recent reports reached the provincial office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that an illegal recruiter has purportedly recruiting applicants for employment in Canada with no specific positions or job order. The recruiter, the report said, has been allegedly recruiting house-to-house in Siquijor province without representing a specific agency.

Provincial Extension Officer Ma. Teresa Tanquiamco has referred the report to the POEA and requested the office to investigate and or verify the real status of the alleged recruiter.

According to the POEA, illegal recruiters pose as representatives of employers abroad and tell their prospects they can facilitate fast and easy deployment of high-paying jobs abroad through their connections with the government and embassies.

These people, the POEA said, charge between P5,000 to P40,000 or even more for processing, registration and visa fee and does not issue receipts. They sometimes stay in hotels, medical clinics or in areas where they can not be easily detected by authorities.

Tanquiamco only advised jobseekers, particularly those who want to work abroad to be on guard against any illegal recruitment activity and verify first with the POEA as to the authenticity of jobs and legality of their recruitment activities.

She said that for local employment, applicants should ask for certificate of recruitment signed by the regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and for overseas employment, special recruitment authority issued by the POEA signed by the POEA administrator.

Recruitment agencies from Manila or elsewhere outside Siquijor, can only conduct recruitment in the provinces by reporting either at the POEA office or any place designated by the POEA and they should be able to produce a provincial recruitment authority which is being issued by the POEA central office, she said.

Those interested to apply for overseas jobs, she said should be careful in dealing with people especially those doing house-to-house visits to scout for prospects and collect fees.

If in doubt about a job offer, go to the POEA first, Tanquiamco said.

Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo instructed today Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Arturo Brion to revise Memorandum Circular No. 04 Series of 2007 that bans the deployment of direct-hire overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The President issued the directive during today's National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Cabinet Group meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room in Malacanang.

The Chief Executive specifically instructed Brion to exempt "executive positions of top gear corporations and institutions" from MC No. 04.

She said the Top 500 Fortune (Magazine) Corporations "essentially provide" these benefits and security to the direct-hires in their contracts.

MC No. 04 requires that the deployment of OFWs must go through recruitment agencies and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

The DOLE said registration with the POEA gives overseas workers benefits such as insurance and health care, education and training, family welfare services as well as protection and assistance in their place of work.

The Labor Code prohibits an employer from hiring Filipino workers for overseas employment, except through the boards (the POEA) or entities authorized by the Secretary of Labor.

As an exemption to the ban of direct-hires, the POEA was allowed to process the employment contracts of OFWs who were directly hired by members of the diplomatic corps and international organizations. (PIA) [top]

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