Canada imposes moratorium on Temporary Foreign Workers Program for fast-food sector Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday bared the announcement recently made by Canadian Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney on the immediate moratorium on the fast-food industry’s access to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Citing a report by Labor Attache’ to Toronto Leonida V. Romulo, saying the move will affect the hiring of temporary Filipino workers for Canada’s fast-food sector. Based on the records of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Toronto, 200 out of 660 employment contracts processed from May to December 2013 were for temporary overseas Filipino workers in the fast-food industry. Moreover, during the first quarter of this year, POLO-Toronto processed 544 employment contracts, of which 146 are for temporary OFWs working in the fast food industry. Because of this, the labor and employment chief said prospective applicants aspiring to work as temporary workers in Canada must keep themselves updated with the latest developments on the TWFP of Canada so that they will not become victims of illegal recruiters promising jobs in Canada through the program. Earlier. Baldoz received a letter from Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Officer-in-Charge Ricardo M. Endaya of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs stating that the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa has observed a spike in cases of fraudulent recruitment through electronic means and the continuing illegal practice of recruiters, both in other countries and in Canada, of charging placement fees, as well as the cost of Labor Market Opinion (LMO) to willing OFWs who aspire to land a job in Canada. In his letter, Endaya also spoke of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), another employment stream in Canada being used by unscrupulous recruiters in luring unsuspecting foreign workers to pay considerably huge amounts of money for illegal placement fees. The SAWP is a program for employing farm hands, mostly coming from Mexico and other Latin American countries, to work for an average of six months and return to their respective countries after the harvest season. “It is an easier way of entering Canada because the basic LMO required from employers can be unnamed,” Endaya said, adding that the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa has monitored an increase number of cases of illegal recruitment into SAWP, especially of OFWs from Taiwan. “As much as we remain vigilant in curbing illegal recruitment activities that pick on our jobseekers, we are appealing to every aspiring OFWs to be very inquisitive and critical in dealing with recruiters for jobs abroad,” Baldoz said. End/rhev

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