Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Speculative: Jobs in the Middle East

Press Release
15 April 2009

Jobs vacancies in the Middle East for Pinoys merely speculative and being used for human trafficking

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations based in the Middle East today said the job vacancies announced by the Department of Labor and Employment during the short visit the other day of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Dubai are merely speculative jobs opening and are being used by unscrupulous businessmen- owner of recruitment agencies, both in the Philippines and local-counterpart in the host countries.

“The announced jobs openings in the Middle East particularly in United Arab Emirates and Qatar by the Arroyo administration are merely speculative jobs in the pretext that the global financial crisis would end soonest but there are no such indications; worst, these speculative jobs openings are being used by erring recruitment agencies to victimize thousands of unemployed and would-be OFWs,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator.

Monterona cited the case of the 137 Filipinos as an example that was hired as bus drivers for Road Transport Authority (RTA), a government-owned bus company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

According to Nhel Morona, Dubai-based Migrante-UAE Secretary-General, during his case dialog yesterday with the 137 OFWs deployed by CYM Manpower, the OFWs manifested that they were given two (2) types of visa- work visa and the other one is tourist visa, with only one control number.

“Their agency intentionally gave them 2 types of visa to evade the existing host government “no work visa, no entry” policy; the work visa is used for this purpose but we suspect what they have given to the 137 OFWs are merely tourist visas,” Morona said.

“What is very suspicious on this case is that there employment contract was certified by the POLO in Dubai and that it would appear to be with no defect only to be found out later that they were victims of human trafficking as there are no available jobs for them,” Monterona surmised.

Morona said the 137 OFWs gone through the normal process of deployment such as undergoing the pre-departure seminar and were given an overseas employment certificate that no one would think they would become victims of human trafficking.

Morona added according to some of the 137 OFWs, their agency have charged them an amount of Php.150, 000 as placement fee which most of them have loaned from a lending agency referred to them by their recruitment agency.

Morona said the 10 out of the 137 OFWs were scheduled to be sent home today as per the information provided by their agency, but there agency is still vacillating on its decision if the rest of them will be sent home immediately.

They are Elisio Maximo, Reynaldo Salas, Walter Araman, Reynaldo Mallari, Cesarlito Borja, Armando Sevilla, Arthur Hernandez, Alvin Lazaro, Napoleon Santos, Joey Sanil Quitaleg. They will be expected to arrive 8:05 p.m. tomorrow via Qatar Airways flight No. PR307.

Migrante-ME is calling members of the Philippine Congress, both in the House of Representatives and the Senate, through its respective committees on Labor and employment, and OFWs concerns to conduct a swift and thorough investigation on this case with an aim to prevent unscrupulous recruitment agencies conniving with POLO offices abroad victimizing poor would-be OFWs and OFWs alike.

“This is indeed a season for illegal recruiters victimizing more and more OFWs; their proliferation is made possible courtesy of the Arroyo regime ever determined to intensify the commodification of human labor through its vicious labor exportation even without any guarantee that OFWs rights and welfare will be protected and safeguarded,” Monterona ended. # # #

For references:
Nhel Morona
Migrante-UAE Secretary General
Mobile No.: 00971 504 23 8851

John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-ME regional coordinator
Mobile Phone: 00966 564 978 012

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