The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to intensify its anti-illegal recruitment campaign by conducting preventive seminars in the barangay level nationwide.

The massive preventive campaign will be conducted in coordination with the Presidential Anti-Illegal Recruitment Task Force (PAIRTF) under chairman Reynaldo Jaylo.

Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas said the campaign has been intensified following reports that illegal recruiters continue on sending workers abroad illegally.

Reports from the PAIRTF revealed that for the last six months, illegal recruiters had collected at least P43 million from unsuspecting applicants seeking employment abroad.

“While we are doing our best to protect our would-be workers abroad, applicants should also take precautionary measures to avoid from being duped by these exploitative elements,” Sto. Tomas said.

Apart from the conduct of preventive seminars in barangay level, the labor chief said that PAIRTF offices will also be established in the provinces to give victims an easy access to their office instead of coming to Manila to file their complaint.

Sto. Tomas said linkages with other concerned government agencies have also been strengthened. These agencies include the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Bureau of Immigration, Department of Justice, Manila International Airport Authority, and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

A PAIRTF report also revealed that from July to December 2004, at least 216 workers paid a total of P6.5 million to spurious recruiters without even a specific place of destination.

Some victims paid their recruiters of as much as P400,000 to P500,000, depending on destination and on how gullible they could be.

Sto. Tomas said that the amount given by workers aspiring to work in Japan, for example, averaged at P36,500 per worker but some reportedly paid as much as P130,000 to P150,000 in exchange for jobs as factory workers which they would later found out as non-existent.

Korea also turned out to be another favorite destination peddled by these unscrupulous recruiters.

With the arrest of a bigtime illegal recruiter last year, it was also found out that charges for US bound workers could cost an applicant of as much as P500,000.

Another aspiring caregiver who believed that a job is waiting for her in Ireland paid a recruiter P400,000.

Higher fees are charged to those hoping to work in Canada (an average of P113,325), US (P103,459), and UK/Ireland (P82,947). Illegal recruiters also charged workers bound for other European countries with an average of P88,018 per worker.

Destination Average amount paid by each worker (P)
Canada 113,325
US 103,459
Other European Countries 88,018
UK/Ireland 82,947
Australian/New Zealand 54,643
Korea 47,429
Japan 36,500
ASEAN, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong 26,141
Middle East 19,582
Pacific Islands (Saipan, Guam, Palau) 11,407

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