The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has been keen in ensuring the welfare of overseas Filipino workers, including those who are planning to work abroad by intensifying its anti-illegal recruitment campaign in the country.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III made the statement following an entrapment operation conducted by DOLE Regional Office-7 together with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) operatives that led to the arrest of three personnel of a local recruitment agency in Cebu City.
“The labor department and its regional offices strengthens its campaign to look after the welfare of the OFWs and Filipinos who plan to work abroad. DOLE under the law is mandated to inspect and verify should various recruitment agencies violate laws, particularly on illegal recruitment,” Bello explained.
Bello said that the arrested individuals were employees of Feljobs Manpower Services located at M.L. Quezon St., Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City, whose license as a private recruitment and placement agency expired on 2014. However, the agency continued with its recruitment activities.
DOLE-7 Regional Director Exequiel R. Sarcauga reported that they have been monitoring the activities of Feljobs since October 2016 and discovered that the agency continues to hire workers and publish recruitment advertisements in local newspapers.
The agency has also been proven extorting applicants of P850.00 per head as payment for identification card (ID) and for pre-employment medical examination and were only told to wait, leaving most of the applicants uncertain whether they would eventually land a job or not.
The labor department is still monitoring four other recruitment agencies which might also be engaged in illegal activities and continues to check on other agencies’ operation permits to check if they are conducting illegal recruitment activities.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) meantime encourages the public to report to their hotline numbers 722-11-44 / 722-11-55 any recruitment activity of this nature and warns the public from applying at unlicensed recruitment agencies, including dealing with any person who is not an authorized representative of a licensed agency.
#Paul Ang/ with a report from Luchel Taniza