Thursday, April 2, 2009

Illegal recruitment on the rise

2 April 2009

Illegal recruitment on the rise,
Migrante calls for an immediate investigation!

The Secretary-General of Migrante International, Gina Esguerra expressed concern over recent complaints reported to its Middle East chapter that a recruitment agency in the Philippines and its counterpart in Israel are illegally collecting fees from Filipino domestic workers bound for Israel.

“This is an outright violation of The New POEA Guidelines on the Deployment of Filipino Household Service Workers (HSW), that “No fees shall be collected from the HSW either prior to deployment or on-site through salary deduction. Worst, this is an act of illegal recruitment as defined in Section 6 on Illegal Recruitment of the Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995,” Esguerra stressed.

It seems that cases of illegal recruitment are on the rise. Not only is it rampant in Taiwan’ Hong Kong and many other countries where these unscrupulous agencies deploy workers stated the leader of the largest global alliance of Filipino migrant organizations. Despite all the reports and cases filed at the Philippine Overseas Employment administration (POEA)

“The obvious question here is why is the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) not doing anything about this?”

Esguerra recalled that over 100 retrenched workers from Taiwan that came to their office reported that recruitment agencies charged them placement fees that range from P80, 000- P135, 000, when POEA rules limits fees to as much as P25,000, or equivalent to a month’s salary. When the workers filed cases at the POEA against the recruitment agencies so they can claim their money back, they were urged by the POEA to settle for a measly P10, 000 and end their complaints.

“Inutile does not even come close to how we can describe the POEA in prosecuting recruiters which practice overcharging. We cannot help but ask if there is any collusion between the erring agencies and the POEA,” Esguerra propounded.

Esguerra gave support to Migrante ME’s call for an investigation by Congress into this matter.

“It is not enough for the recruitment agencies to be prosecuted. Congress must also look into why the POEA has not put a stop to this practice and why it allows greedy agencies to prey on desperate Filipinos looking for work,” concluded Esguerra.

Gina Esguerra,
Secretary General, Migrante International

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