Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda issued yet another stern warning yesterday against jobseekers wanting to work abroad through the backdoor, advising them to go through the legal process after she received a report saying two Malaysian nationals have been convicted of human smuggling by the Brunei Intermediate Court for assisting the entry of a Filipino in Brunei.
The two Malaysian nationals are now facing B$1 million fine, and up to 30 years imprisonment, including an ‘unspecified number of whippings’.
The report, submitted by LaborAttaché Violeta D. Illescas of the Philippine Labor Office in Brunei Darussalam, said the Filipino ‘assisted’ by the Malaysian nationals was convicted for unlawful entry in Brunei on 17 October 2014 and was jailed in Jerudong prison. She was released on 30 June 2015 and was repatriated on 1 July 2015.
On the other hand, the Malaysian nationals were charged by the Brunei court for “carrying out people smuggling to gain financial benefit’ when they reportedly assisted in the unlawful entry of a Philippine national into Brunei on October 17, 2014.
“The harrowing accounts of victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking must more than serve as stern warning to the public. Illegal recruitment and human trafficking syndicates prey on vulnerable targets. We must report to authorities any suspicious recruitment activities,”Baldoz reminded.
Jobseekers who consider working overseas must go through the legal process for utmost protection and assistance by the government, Baldoz said, adding that they can avail of thefree Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) given to individuals who are interested to work abroad bythe Philippine Overseas Employment Office Administration (POEA).
The PEOS provides general information on the pros and cons of overseas employment; guidelines, legal procedures, and documentary requirements of applying for an overseas job; overseas job opportunities; and jobs that are restricted.
The POEA disseminates through the Web, the mainstream media, and several public information platforms tips to avoid illegal recruitment; advisories and warnings to OFWs; health and security issues; and government services available to overseas job applicants and hired workers.
Baldoz enjoined the public to use these information wisely to save and protect lives, and to stamp out illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and other nefarious activities that victimize jobseekers.